Gallup: Americans Favor Kavanaugh Confirmation Despite Record Opposition by Democrats

By Gavi Greenspan | July 19, 2018 | 5:40pm EDT
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (Screenshot)

Despite record opposition from Democrats, more Americans support than oppose confirmation of President Trump’s pick of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat, a new Gallup survey shows.

The survey, conducted July 10-15, finds that 41% of American adults say Kavanaugh should confirmed, 37% believe he should not be confirmed, and 22% have no opinion.

Gallup found record opposition from Americans belonging to “the party not holding the White House” – in this case, Democrats - Gallup notes:

“Opinions about Kavanaugh's confirmation are strongly related to partisanship -- 76% of Republicans favor him serving on the Supreme Court, while 67% of Democrats are opposed. Just 14% of Democrats want Kavanaugh confirmed.

“Partisanship has always been a factor in public reaction to prior nominees. However, the level of opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation among Democrats is the highest Gallup has measured to date among those who identify with the party not holding the White House.”

Overall opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation is the highest in more than 30 years, Gallup reports, attributing the result to “the nation’s increasing political polarization”:

“Kavanaugh begins his quest for the Supreme Court with a higher level of opposition than for any nominee Gallup has measured since 1987, and barely more support than opposition overall. To a large degree, these attitudes reflect the nation's increasing political polarization, perhaps more than anything about Kavanaugh himself. Democrats' sizable opposition to Kavanaugh may also reflect concern that his nomination will push the court in a more conservative direction.”

Gallup concluded that, while Republicans hold only a slim advantage in the Senate, Kavanaugh’s confirmation seems likely:

“With Supreme Court confirmations now requiring a simple majority of Senate votes, and Republicans holding a majority in that chamber, Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed. However, he has little cushion, with Republicans holding a two-seat advantage."

The poll was conducted with a random sample of 1,296 adults being interviewed and has a sampling error of ± 3 percentage points and a confidence level of 95%.

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