Commentary, News

Multiple new polls: Senate needs to move now on Supreme Court nominee

Two new national polls find overwhelming public opposition to the U.S. Senate’s ongoing blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. This is from a new poll conducted by GBA Strategies and the Center for American Progress:

“Majorities of voters—across the partisan and ideological spectrum—want the U.S. Senate to hold hearings and an up-­?or-­?down confirmation vote for Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. By a 69 percent to 27 percent margin, voters nationally overwhelmingly think the U.S.Senate should move forward with hearings and an up?or?down vote for Judge Garland. This includes 79 percent of self-­?identified Democrats; 67 percent of Independents; 59 percent of Republicans; and 55 percent of self?identified conservatives/libertarians.”

“A new national Public Policy Polling survey finds Americans don’t trust Donald Trump to nominate a new Supreme Court justice, and would much rather have that decision in the hands of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Beyond that, there is growing support for filling the seat this year and failure to do so could result in strong backlash for Senate Republicans this fall.

Key findings from the survey include:

-Only 38% of voters nationally trust Donald Trump to nominate a Supreme Court justice, compared to 53% who don’t trust him to do that. Only 57% of voters even within his own party trust Trump to make a selection, and more than 80% of Democrats as well as a majority of independents don’t trust him with that responsibility.

-Americans, by double digit margins, trust both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton more with the duty of picking a Supreme Court justice than Trump. Obama beats Trump 53/37 on that question, and Clinton does by a similar 52/37 spread as well. What’s particularly noteworthy is that in addition to more than 80% of Democrats, 29% of Republicans would prefer either Obama or Clinton making that decision to their own party’s presumptive nominee for President.

-By a 58/37 spread, Americans want the Supreme Court seat to be filled this year. That’s actually up from 56/40 support for filling it this year on a national PPP poll in early March. The reason for the shift is that 39% of Republicans now think the seat should be filled immediately, up from just 26% two months ago. That seems to suggest the ascendance of Trump has changed the minds of many GOP voters across the country about continuing to obstruct the nomination of Merrick Garland….

The bottom line is pretty clear- Americans want the Supreme Court seat filled this year. And support for doing that has gotten even greater over the last few months due to the substantial number of Republicans who don’t trust Donald Trump making that decision for the country. Voters see the refusal of Senate Republicans to even hold hearings on Merrick Garland’s nomination as unreasonable, and this issue could hurt them in the polls in November. It’s been 3 months now, and there’s no indication this political problem for them is going away.”

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