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Washington State 2019 Polling

Attitudes Toward People and Organizations

Overall, Planned Parenthood is viewed favorably by Washington voters. Sixty-four percent of voters view the organization favorably and 44% view it very favorably. Intensity in favorability is strongest among Democrats (69%), pro-choice voters (63%), King County voters (59%), and women (52%).

• Washington voters are split over their opinion of Governor Jay Inslee* (47% favorable and 41% unfavorable). The Washington state Legislature is viewed more favorably overall (50% favorable and 27% unfavorable), but favorability intensity is stronger for Governor Inslee (21% are very favorable compared to 11% who are very favorable toward the state Legislature). President Donald Trump is unfavorable among Washington voters as 64% view him unfavorably and 56% view him very unfavorably.

• Planned Parenthood is net-favorable among all subgroups analyzed. The base of support for Planned Parenthood comes from women, Millennials, Democrats, pro-choice voters, and those who rarely attend religious services.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is perceived positively across Washington. More than half of voters view Planned Parenthood as: confidential, preventive, informative, caring, trustworthy, for everyone, strong, and expert. Voters are much more likely to view the organization as high-quality (48%) than low-quality (14%). The bottom tier of words voters believe describe Planned Parenthood are all negative terms including too political, biased, too focused on abortion, and low-quality.*

• Women, Democrats, and pro-choice voters are most likely to describe Planned Parenthood in positive terms. Democrats and pro-choice voters also see Planned Parenthood as trustworthy. Top associations for Republicans and anti-choice voters include too political, biased, and too focused on abortion.

• Majorities of King County and secular voters associate all of the positive terms probed with Planned Parenthood. Even religious voters are more likely to associate Planned Parenthood as being confidential and preventive than too political.

Attitudes Toward Abortion, Sex Ed, and Birth Control

A majority of Washington voters are pro-choice. Forty percent believe abortion should be legal and generally available and 17% believe it should remain legal in many circumstances but be subject to regulation. Thirty percent believe abortion should only be legal in extreme circumstances, and only 8% believe all abortion should be made illegal.

• Democrats (82%) and college educated voters (65%) are most likely to be pro-choice. Although Republicans are strongly anti-choice (71%), they are also likely to be conflicted (64%).

• The subgroups most likely to be conflicted are Independents, Northeastern voters, Silent voters, and Southeastern voters.

A strong majority support requiring schools to offer medically accurate, age appropriate, comprehensive, sex education in public schools – 86% support, 70% strongly support.

• Democrats – especially Democratic women – secular voters, pro-choice voters, and mothers strongly support requiring schools to offer comprehensive sex ed. Republicans and anti-choice voters also support by wide margins.

Washington voters also find it very important that people in Washington have access to all of the reproductive health care options available, including abortion (77% say it is important and 61% say it is very important). Democrats, pro-choice voters, King County voters, Millennials, and people of color are most likely to find universal access important. Washington State Polling, 2019

• Democrats and people of color are most likely to favor universal coverage. Republicans and anti-choice voters are most likely to oppose.

Statements that encourage teaching young people healthy relationship skills, comprehensive sex education, and LGBTQ inclusivity are strongly supported by Washington voters. They do not believe this “encourages the transgender lifestyle,” testing language that was used by bill opponents in 2019.

• Young people need to understand what a healthy relationship looks like and have the opportunity to practice good communication skills before they become sexually active – 92% agree, 82% strongly agree

• It's important that all students across WA have access to comprehensive, medically accurate, age appropriate sex education, no matter their zip code – 87% agree, 75% strongly agree*

• We should require that all schools teach medically accurate, age appropriate sex education – 86% agree, 68% strongly agree*

• It's important to dispel myths and stigma around sexual health for the LGBTQ community and that starts with awareness and sex education – 67% agree, 54% strongly agree*

• Sex education that is LGBTQ inclusive provides young people opportunity to understand sexual orientation and gender identity in an open and inclusive way – 63% agree, 46% strongly agree*

• Sex education encourages the transgender lifestyle – 17% agree, 9% strongly agree

• The only statement that Washington voters solidly do not agree with was the statement that sex education “encourages the transgender lifestyle” (71% disagree, 60% strongly disagree), language that was used by bill opponents in 2019.

People of color are slightly more likely to agree with statements that encourage access to comprehensive sex ed and dispel LGBTQ stigma than White voters.

• The top five statements are strongly agreed upon across all subgroups tested.

Legislation in Washington State

State proposals that include requiring or expanding age-appropriate medically accurate sex education curriculum in schools to include healthy relationships and communication skills garner the strongest levels of voter support across the state.

• Eighty-six percent favor requiring sex ed to include healthy relationships and communication skills (72% strongly favor). Eighty-three percent favor expanding sex ed so it includes healthy relationships and communication skills (66% strongly favor).*

• Groups most likely to favor requiring sex ed include: voters 50+, Millennials, Boomers, Democrats, Independents, pro-choice voters, people of color, college educated voters, King County voters, and people who attend religious services sometimes or rarely.

• Voters who attend religious services often are most likely to favor expanding sex education that includes healthy relationships and communication skills.

• Proposals that call for ending restrictive abortion legislation and increasing state investment in reproductive health care with the condition of increasing taxes have lower intensity (38% v. 37% strongly favor) but are still favored by at least half of voters.

• End laws that restrict access to abortion, such as laws that ban insurance coverage for abortion, laws that require waiting periods, and laws that require doctors to give patients medically inaccurate information – 50% favor, 38% strongly favor

• The state should invest in reproductive health care, even if it raises your taxes – 57% favor, 37% strongly favor*

Statewide phone survey of 500 registered voters conducted by Lake Research Partners, commissioned by PPVNH in September 2019.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] should you have any questions or comments about this research.


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