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Image: Abortion Rights Activists Protest Outside The Supreme Court
Abortion rights activists march from the U.S. Supreme Court to the House of Representatives office buildings on July 6, 2022 in Washington.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

NBC News polling data shows how much the abortion issue did to boost Democratic enthusiasm

Merged NBC News polls show biggest jumps in election interest coming from Democrats, Black voters.

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Just how much has the Supreme Court and abortion changed the midterm landscape? 

Well, the bipartisan team of pollsters who conduct the NBC News poll put together this nifty chart comparing election interest in January and March (so before the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, as well as the leak of the draft opinion), versus May and August (so afterward). 

Overall, election interest jumped from 53% of all voters expressing high interest — either a “9” or “10” on a 10-point scale — in the combined January/March NBC News polls, to 62% expressing high interest in the combined May/August polls. 

But the biggest increases came from Democrats (who went from 48% in high interest to 64%), Black voters (42% to 57%) and political independents (38% to 51%).

Republican voters, by contrast, increased by just 3 points from January/March to May/August, 66% to 69%. 

While the NBC News polls shows a change in enthusiasm over the course of the year, actual congressional preference didn’t change as much. 

In January/March, the combined NBC News polls found a tie, with 46% of voters preferring Republicans in control of Congress, compared with 46% who want Democrats in charge. 

But in May/August? It was 47% of voters preferring Republicans, versus 46% wanting Democrats.