Poll finds rocky path for abortion initiative to be approved by Florida voters

The ballot initiative attempting to constitutionally protect abortion in Florida has a rocky path to being approved this November, according to a new Emerson College poll.

The poll conducted April 9-10 – after the Supreme Court of Florida approved the measure for November ballot placement – found that only 42% plan to vote “yes” on the initiative.

It found that 25% plan to vote “no,” but a large portion – 32% – said they are “unsure.”

Constitutional amendments require 60% of the vote to be approved. The amendment would protect access to abortion up to the point of “viability.”

Under the polling result, if the “unsure” split “yes” and “no” evenly, the initiative would narrowly fail in the upper 50% range.

Emerson also asked respondents their thoughts on Florida’s six-week abortion ban – it found that 57% find the measure “too strict.” Still, if all of those voters vote for the ballot initiative, the amendment fails.

Notably, Emerson found that voters believe Florida’s 15-week ban – which will be superseded by the six week ban in a few weeks – is either “about right” or “not strict enough.”

A point of contention regarding the amendment from Attorney General Ashley Moody and the dissenting justices was the vagueness of the term “viability” of a fetus; some voters might define that as different points of pregnancy.

Nonetheless, nearly half of Florida voters are happy with the 15-week abortion restrictions or want to go further.

With viability typically being, at the very earliest, 20 weeks or later – if those voters interpret the amendment to mean that traditional definition of viability – the ballot initiative would fail with a nearly even split of the electorate.

The partisan split on supporting the ballot initiative was: 56% of Democrats, 44% of independents and 30% of Republicans.

A large portion of Republicans – 34% – were unsure of how they’d vote. As is expected, Republicans are the group most likely to vote against the initiative – and those undecideds could be the nail in the coffin for the initiative, should make up their minds and ultimately turn out against it.

Other states have voted and approved pro-abortion amendments, including Ohio and Michigan. However, even there, both amendments passed with around 56% of the vote – multiple points less than Florida’s necessary threshold of 60%.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently predicted that voters will reject both the abortion and marijuana ballot initiatives, saying they will be perceived as too “extreme.”

Poll finds rocky path for abortion initiative to be approved by Florida voters (flvoicenews.com)

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