Majority of Americans prefer political candidates who support abortion -Reuters/Ipsos

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FILE PHOTO: A police officer watches pro-life and pro-choice supporters demonstrating in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they are more likely to back candidates who support the right to abortion in the November midterm elections, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Tuesday.

The poll of 998 voters also found that a plurality of Americans - 41% - said the country would be a worse place to live if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established the right to abortion nationwide.

It was conducted hours after the publication of a draft opinion by the top court signaling that the justices were ready to do just that. The court on Tuesday confirmed that the opinion was authentic but also said that it was not final.

Some 63% of respondents, including 78% of Democrats and 49% of Republicans, said they were more likely to support candidates who support abortion rights in the Nov. 8 election that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.

The looming Supreme Court decision, expected to be issued by the end of June, represents the result of years of work by Republicans cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, and 51% of Republicans surveyed said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights.

The court ruling could change the dynamic of the election, in which Republicans had been heavily favored to recapture control of at least one chamber of Congress, allowing them to block Democratic President Joe Biden's legislative agenda.

The poll found that 41% of Americans thought that repealing Roe v. Wade would make the United States a worse place to live. Republicans were divided on this point, with 28% saying it would make things worse, 29% saying it would make things better and 36% offering no opinion.

The poll reflected Americans' overall divisions on abortion: 52% of respondents said it should be legal in most or all cases, while 40% said it should be illegal in most or all cases.

The poll had a credibility internal, a measure of precision, of 3.8 percentage points.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Scott Malone and Howard Goller)

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