A group of female Pennsylvania voters who support former President Donald Trump and support abortion rights in 2020 said in focus group interviews that they do not see their views on abortion as a barrier to voting for Trump again in 2024.
It’s an illuminating window into how a group of potential swing voters — previous Trump voters worried about abortion — are dealing with one of the Democrats’ key issues ahead of the next election. Despite labeling abortion as a major issue facing women in America, the majority of women who participated in two focus groups said they would support Trump in a rematch against President Joe Biden and that other issues were more important to their vote.
And, critically, participants largely refused to hold Trump responsible for ending Roe v. Wade, even though he appointed three of the five Supreme Court justices who upheld the June 2022 ruling.
Importantly, however, two out of 15 Pennsylvanians who voted for Trump in 2020 said they would not do so again, citing his personal behavior, his conduct since the 2020 election, and Trump’s “businesslike mannerisms.”
The findings come from two focus groups conducted in collaboration with Engagious, Syracuse University and Sago as part of the NBC News Deciders Focus Group series. Those two focus groups said they were voting for Trump in 2020, while at the same time Roe v. Overturning the Supreme Court’s decision in Wade v. Dobbs, Pennsylvania heard 15 different women voters.
National NBC News poll last year 61% of all registered voters disapproved of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe, including 31% of women who said they would vote for Trump in 2020. It was an important part of the Democratic 2022 midterms, both in terms of galvanizing Democrats and winning swing votes. . Abortion numbers are also an important part of Biden’s re-election pitch.
But for focus group participants, the issue was far from a guarantee of a switch from supporting Trump.
For most women, abortion is not a major issue that will decide their vote in the 2024 general election, even among those who have fiercely criticized the court for overturning abortion protections. Only three of the 15 women believed Trump was at least partly responsible for the court’s decision. And many don’t believe Trump will try to sign a federal ban on abortion into law in the future.
“I think people should have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies. But I mean, either way, who I’m going to vote for is not the No. 1 factor,” Stacey M., 50, of Philadelphia, told the group.
“I know I’m a woman and I should say more about it, but honestly, it’s not that important to me, it might be important to someone else.”
Sarah E., 35, of Creaco, who is pregnant with her second child, told the group that the issue was not overwhelming for her when choosing her vote.
“It means nothing to me in the grand scheme of things. “I will vote for the person I think will do the best for my family,” he said.
Moments ago, Sarah said that the 2022 Supreme Court ruling that lowered the national minimum for abortion rights worried her about her 14-year-old son, and that “one mistake” could “derail” his life without freedom of access to abortion. But he said he was more concerned with other issues when deciding on the vote.
The weight of abortion, among other issues
At a focus group moderated by Engagious President Rich Thau and produced in partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship, a panel of women largely shared Sara’s sentiments: The decision may be a step backwards for women’s rights, they said, but it doesn’t move the needle much in influencing their voices. .
“I think it’s one less thing for the government to worry about, it should be the woman’s choice, not the government’s. “We’re going back to the pre-1960s when birth control was illegal, and thankfully it’s legal now,” said Kathi T., 62, of Shikshinny.
He faced Trump’s past statements Roe v. Taking credit for canceling WadeKathi replied, “Barf.”
But when asked how her views on abortion and Trump affected her vote, she said it was “unfortunately” the fifth most important issue on her mind when it comes to the 2024 election.
Women in Roe v. While they disagreed with the decision to overturn Wade, they mostly said they were comfortable with some restrictions on abortion, including a national ban at some point.
Most participants said they were comfortable with a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, except for victims of rape and consanguinity, as well as when the mother’s health is at risk. But some women cautioned that it was too early, pointing to personal experiences of not knowing they were pregnant until eight weeks — or in one case the entire first trimester, because she was nursing her baby when she got pregnant again.
Both the economy and immigration were on the minds of most women as they discussed voting in November.
“The prices of everything have gone up and the cost of living is going up like crazy and it’s not being compensated for in our jobs or our jobs or our paychecks,” said Lisa G., 47, of Schwenksville.
On immigration, respondents mostly expressed dismay at the idea of American resources being spent on immigrants from other countries, especially when they believe Americans face many economic problems. Some had harsh words for immigrants that echoed Trump’s language, lamenting that they were “bringing drugs and viruses” to them and questioning whether terrorists were taking advantage of the situation at the border to “set up cameras in our country.”
“It shows the lack of control we have as a country,” said Mary Beth G., 69, of Springfield.
“To the rest of the world, it makes us look weak, we can’t even control who comes into our country,” he said. “Our enemies will use it”
12 out of 15 women said they would vote for Biden or Trump over third-party and independent candidates if the presidential election were held today. In general, these voters had deeply negative views of Biden, calling him “old,” “incompetent,” “slow” and “sleepy.” And they had more unkind things to say about Vice President Kamala Harris, describing her as “useless” and a “puppet.”
This contrasts with more positive views of Trump, calling him “sharp”, “strong” and “funny”.
“He did more for our country than any other president, and he spared no chances. I really like it,” said Helen M., 51, of Philadelphia.
However, some women who supported Trump said they were disappointed or indifferent to the presidential election.
Angie R. Trump, 42, of Mont Clare, said she had to choose between Biden, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein, but said she was seriously considering not voting. I would choose Trump.
“Sometimes I wonder what’s the point? They are all bad, but you have the worst of all the bad,” he said about the presidential election.
Two 2020 Trump voters in the group said they would not support the former president in 2020, calling him “arrogant” and “correct.”
Mary Beth Q. ruled out Trump and Biden completely: “I think Trump and Biden are both terrible candidates. I think our country deserves better.”