news·3 min read

Reproductive Rights and Health Care Are Deal Breakers in 2022 Midterm Elections

Calendar event for the 2022 midterm elections
Design: theSkimm, Photo: iStock
Jan 12, 2022

Millennials and Gen Z finally found something they can agree on: reproductive rights and health care. Those are the issues they care about most in the voting booth.

Tell me more about 2022’s top election issues.  

We surveyed our audience to get an idea of how Skimm’rs are feeling one year out from the midterm election. And they almost unanimously agreed that it’s important or very important that a candidate aligns with their views on reproductive rights and health care to get their vote in 2022. 

Show me the numbers. 

Health care is a consistent concern for millennial Skimm’rs. One year out from the 2020 presidential election, 71% of them said health care was very important to them, though racial justice and COVID-19 received the highest number of “very important” ratings just before they hit the polls. And when it comes to reproductive rights, more than 60% of Skimm’rs from each generation said if a candidate didn’t support access to reproductive care (like paid parental leave and birth control) or access to abortion care, it would be a deal breaker for them. That’s more than double compared to our October 2019 survey, when just 29% of millennial Skimm’rs said access to reproductive care in general was a deal breaker, and 32% of millennial Skimm’rs said access to legal abortions was a deal breaker. 

What’s on their minds?

Aside from a global pandemic, a lot. Let’s start with abortion access. In the last year alone, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas all passed laws resticting abortion (thought not all went into effect). Texas even went as far as to allow private citizens to sue anyone involved with an abortion. As the stability of Roe v. Wade is being called into question (particularly by states like Mississippi), that’s put a spotlight on an issue that directly impacts women. Then there’s paid family leave. Congress has been negotiating the Build Back Better Act, a social spending bill that initially included 12 weeks of paid family leave and is now down to four. Leaving women questioning how they’ll cover the financial (along with emotional and physical) burden of returning to work. That might explain why more than 60% of millennial Skimm’rs are feeling anxious about the midterm elections, compared to 37% when they were surveyed one year out from the 2020 election.

How can I make my voice heard?

Vote. In the 2018 midterm election, only 42% of eligible millennials voted. Let's change that. 

theSkimm

Skimm’rs want candidate support when it comes to their reproductive rights and health care, and have made a statement that if candidates don’t listen, they’ll have a tough time getting their vote.

Methodology 

From November 15-24, 2021 we surveyed 1,000 Skimm'rs on their political activities since the 2020 election, what they're thinking about going into the 2022 midterms, and what information they're looking for about races, policies, and candidates. A version of this survey was sent to subscribers in 2019 in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Skimm'd by Hannah Parker and Becky Murray

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