2022 Louisiana Survey Shows Polarization Over Abortion Grows While Support for Legal Access Increases Substantially among Democrats

April 28, 2022

LA SurveyBATON ROUGE—Research from the Public Policy Research Lab (PPRL) at LSU Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs shows polarization over abortion has grown while support for legal access has increased substantially among Democrats. Also, support for the death penalty has declined, but more favor than oppose.

Results from the final report of the 2022 Louisiana Survey indicate the following opinions on abortion and the death penalty:

  • Louisiana residents split more closely over the issue of abortion than in 2016. Six years ago, 40% of adult residents of the state said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 55% said it should be illegal in all or most cases. Today, these shares are 46% and 49%, respectively.
  • The most dramatic shift in attitudes toward abortion has been among Democrats. Although Democrats already leaned toward saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases in 2016 (51%), this share is now 74%, while the share who said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases fell by half, from 42% to 19%.
  • About half (51%) of respondents said they favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. This marks a modest dip from 58% in 2018 when the Louisiana Survey last included this question. Opposition to the death penalty (38%) remains similar to 2018 (34%).

The 2022 Louisiana Survey includes two distinct efforts to sample residents of the state and conduct interviews. The Louisiana Survey polled 508 adult residents through traditional telephone-based surveys from across the state to find out how Louisianans view their government and its policies. The survey was conducted from Feb. 21 to March 14, 2022, and the total sample has a +/- 5.8% margin of error. Additionally, the Louisiana Survey polled 623 adult residents in a survey administered online. The survey was conducted from March 1 to March 21, 2022, and the total sample has a +/- 6.1% margin of error. The primary report is based on the traditional telephone-based portion of the study.

Michael Henderson, LSU Manship School associate professor and Reilly Center research affiliate, is available for interviews. Contact acharbonnet1@lsu.edu to schedule.

The Louisiana Survey has been conducted for the last 22 years, establishing rich longitudinal measures of public opinion in Louisiana. The mission of the Louisiana Survey is to establish benchmarks as well as to capture change in residents’ assessments of state government services. The survey is further dedicated to tracking public opinion on the contemporary policy issues that face the state. Each iteration of the Louisiana Survey contains core items designed to serve as barometers of public sentiment, including assessments of whether the state is heading in the right direction or wrong direction, perceptions about the most important problems facing the state, as well as evaluations of public revenue sources and spending priorities.

The survey is a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, an integral part of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication. The Reilly Center’s mission is to generate thoughtful programs, dialogue and research about mass communication and its many-faceted relationships with social, economic and political issues.

Read the final Louisiana Survey report in full at https://www.lsu.edu/manship/research/centers-labs/rcmpa/research/la_survey.php.

For more information, contact acharbonnet1@lsu.edu


LSU's Public Policy Research Lab is a joint effort of the Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at LSU. It provides a variety of services including survey research, ‘big data’ analytics, social media tracking, and focus group interviews. The Lab combines professional capability, the latest data technologies, and the variety of intellectual assets available at LSU to serve our clients’ research needs.

The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: master of mass communication, Ph.D. in media and public affairs, certificate of strategic communication, and dual MMC/law degree.