The Corner

Politics & Policy

Poll: Democratic Primary Voters Closely Divided on the Hyde Amendment

Joe Biden gives a pep talk to Dallas County high school students during a campaign event at the SPARK! educational center in Dallas, Texas, May 29, 2019. (Brandon Wade/Reuters)

Democrats are split on the question of repealing the Hyde amendment, the ban on federal funding of elective abortions under Medicaid, according to a Morning Consult poll conducted June 7 to 9. Only a plurality of Democratic primary voters, 45 percent, support repealing the measure, while 38 percent oppose repeal.

After Joe Biden abandoned his decades-long position of opposing taxpayer-funding of abortion last week, zero percent of the Democratic presidential candidates support the Hyde amendment. “With all the major candidates fighting to be the most extreme on abortion, there is a wide open lane for a candidate to bring an alternative position to the discussion and to unify Democrats around common ground principles,” Kristen Day of Democrats for Life said in a statement.

Politico’s takeaway from the poll is summed up in its headline: “Abortion funding reversal helps Biden with primary voters.” But it’s not clear that’s correct. The poll only shows 32 percent of primary voters say they’re more likely to vote for Biden because he abandoned support for the Hyde amendment, while 19 percent of primary voters are less likely to vote for him. As with any issue, it’s hard to know how many persuadable voters will actually make up their minds over this specific incident, but that split is close enough that Biden’s flipping and flopping could actually hurt him in the primary. Biden’s public vacillating on an issue that was on the campaign’s radar for months undermines the claim that he has a sound temperament, and his support for taxpayer-funding of abortion will make him weaker in a general election, which undermines the strongest argument in favor of his nomination.

Most Popular

How to Avoid a China-Led World Order

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, it has opened our eyes to China’s rapidly expanding role in the international order and global economy. Beijing’s outsize role in the World Health Organization has come under attack, as has the muscular diplomacy used by China’s foreign ministry in responding to ... Read More

How to Avoid a China-Led World Order

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, it has opened our eyes to China’s rapidly expanding role in the international order and global economy. Beijing’s outsize role in the World Health Organization has come under attack, as has the muscular diplomacy used by China’s foreign ministry in responding to ... Read More
Education

Science, Coronavirus, and Notre Dame

A few weeks back, the University of Notre Dame outlined its plan for reopening campus in the fall, detailing the way in which the administration hopes to bring students back to South Bend to resume in-person classes. Like the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the U.S., Notre Dame shifted all ... Read More
Education

Science, Coronavirus, and Notre Dame

A few weeks back, the University of Notre Dame outlined its plan for reopening campus in the fall, detailing the way in which the administration hopes to bring students back to South Bend to resume in-person classes. Like the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the U.S., Notre Dame shifted all ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More