Polling News

Support For Gorsuch Confirmation

March 16, 2017

There is substantial public support for Pres. Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, before the appellate judge’s confirmation hearing Monday.  According to a Feb. 13 Fox News poll, 49% of registered voters say they would “vote to confirm” Mr. Gorsuch while just 37% say they would not. 

Over the last dozen years, an average of 43% of voters have approved of Supreme Court nominees before their confirmation hearings and only two ­– Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor – had ratings as high as Mr. Gorsuch’s ratings today.  One month before the hearing for Mr. Roberts began in 2005, 50% of voters said they would vote to confirm while 26% said they would not.  At the time of Ms. Sotomayor’s hearing in 2009, 53% of registered voters said they would vote to confirm while 29% said they would not. 

 

 

Even though more Republicans back Mr. Gorsuch than Democrats (82% and 17%, respectively), Independents also overwhelmingly support him (54% say confirm while 28% say not to confirm).  Broad public support puts pressure on Senate Democrats to join their Republican counterparts in voting to confirm Mr. Gorsuch, especially those up for re-election in states Mr. Trump won.  The Democrats’ liberal base may pressure them to obstruct the confirmation, but that would be an ill-advised strategy.  The same Fox poll found 54% of voters would disapprove of “Senate Democrats doing everything they can to block any of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees they don’t like.”  Liberal commentators may applaud hyper-partisan obstructionism, but voters will not.

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