A poll of likely voters commissioned by the Iowa Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders and completed by Public Opinion Strategies earlier this month reveals support and opposition to the proposed Protect Life Amendment to the Iowa Constitution in a virtual tie – 45 to 47 percent, respectively, within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percent.
When asked whether Iowans “should be given the opportunity to vote on the amendment,” however, an overwhelming 84 percent of voters said yes.
What’s more, when poll respondents had the opportunity to hear arguments in favor of the amendment, a significant number moved to support, resulting in a net 50-40 percent of voters favoring passage of the Protect Life Amendment.
“This poll affirms what we have known for months,” said Maggie DeWitte, executive director of Iowans for Life and chair of the Coalition. “When Iowans have the opportunity to understand what’s at stake and what the amendment is actually about – protecting babies’ lives from efforts to legalize abortion to the day of birth and forcing Iowans to pay for it – they support the Protect Life Amendment. Everyday Iowans do not want unelected, activist judges turning our state into an extremist abortion destination.'”
“The Iowa Supreme Court’s 2018 radical decision in Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds laid a foundation to undo every protection Iowa mothers and unborn children have from unregulated abortion extremism,” added Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, a Coalition member organization. “But as this poll affirmed, Iowans are appalled by painful and grisly late-term abortions. They can’t imagine being forced to pay for it. And if the courts are going to push that on us, then we will pass the Protect Life Amendment to ensure We the People, and not activist judges, determine what kind of state Iowa will be.”
Public Opinion Strategies conducted the poll of 500 likely Iowa voters from June 1-3, 2021. An executive summary of the poll’s results revealed the following highlights:
Support for the Protect Life Amendment is neck-and-neck, within the margin of error. Polling currently shows the ballot at a razor-thin margin of -2% (45% – 47%).
A large majority of Iowa voters want to vote on the Protect Life Amendment. 84% of voters agree with the statement, “Iowans should be given the opportunity to vote on this amendment,” including 73% of voters who responded they opposed the measure.
81% of Iowa voters indicate they believed there should be legal limits to abortion. Only a small minority of Iowa voters (14%) responded, “Abortion should be legal at any time during a woman’s pregnancy.”
A significant majority of Iowa voters oppose taxpayer funding of abortions. When asked, “Do you support the taxpayer funding of abortion?” 64% of voters responded “no,” while less than one third (32%) responded “yes.”
The data demonstrates ample low-hanging fruit in support of passage. An increase in self-identified Republican support alone could bring total support for the measure over 50%.
Passage has the intensity advantage. Support is higher among the most reliable voters (+3%), as well as those who want to vote on the measure (84% of Iowa’s voters, with the the “yes” vote at 54%).
The data suggests an information campaign would result in a significant increase in support for the measure. Exposure to pro-measure messaging resulted in a 10% advantage for the measure, with 50% of voters responding in favor and only 40% responding opposed.
The June 1-3 poll differs significantly from the Selzer & Co. poll conducted for the Des Moines Register/Mediacom and released in March, which polled general population Iowa adults (rather than likely voters) and did not poll the amendment’s actual language as passed by the Iowa Legislature.