Supremely Partisan: the Kavanaugh Nomination Likely to Confirm Recent Trend

The retirement of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy once again puts the Supreme Court back in the headlines during a heated campaign cycle.  And, like the nomination of Neil Gorsuch in 2017, recent survey data surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh tends to further cement the “new normal” I hypothesized last year regarding increased partisanship relating to SCOTUS nominations.

Unfortunately, there is still a dearth of survey data on the Kavanaugh nomination, but the recent Fox News poll does shed some useful light: fully 38{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of voters say they would vote to confirm the judge, while 32{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} say they would not.  Some key data:

  • This +6 spread is considerably narrower than that enjoyed by Neil Gorsuch in the Fox Poll when he was first nominated (49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-37{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).
  • Notably, it is also below the average initial support for nominees (51{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) that I calculated at the time President Trump tapped Gorsuch.
  • Moreover, it is the worst initial read (using Fox Poll trend) since the initial read of the doomed nomination of Harriet Miers in 2005 (37{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} confirm/32{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} not to confirm).

As an aside, it is worth noting that most of the data on which I based my blog post last year came from Gallup, but unfortunately, they do not have any Kavanaugh data just yet.  Nonetheless, the Fox poll does tell virtually the same story – namely, that initial public support for recent SCOTUS nominees is tightening (or at least below average in some cases) because a majority of members of the party opposite the nominating president oppose confirmation, a trend that began in 2009 with Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination.  The table below illustrates this trend (again, the trend data from Thomas through Gorsuch comes from Gallup, while the Kavanaugh data comes from Fox):

As I noted last year, the Harriet Miers case was unusual in and of itself, perhaps accounting for the majority of Democrats opposing her confirmation initially.  But, assuming Gallup and/or other respected public polling outfits will soon register a similar number on Kavanaugh’s nomination among Democrats, we will be able to say with confidence that Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court will have registered the lowest initial support and perhaps the highest opposition numbers of any nominee among a partisan group for over 25 years.

Of course, none of this is to suggest that Kavanaugh himself is responsible for these numbers.  Nonetheless, based on recent history, we can expect public opinion on his nomination to further tighten as his hearings begin and Senate Democrats launch their promised assault to try to defeat his nomination.

Similar Articles

  • Tattoos, Pot and Football: Our Daily Lives Reflected in WSJ/NBC News Polls
    read more

  • Public Opinion Strategies Polls in 18 Successful 2019 Elections
    read more

  • National Survey: Health Insurance Costs Top Health Care Concerns for Voters
    read more

  • Public Education Update
    read more

  • Public Release of Research: Strengthening HCAHPS Patient Experience Surveying
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :