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44% Want Kavanaugh Confirmed; 83% Say It’s Likely

Voters strongly suspect that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be the next member of the U.S. Supreme Court, but they are not as supportive of him as they were of President Trump’s first choice for the high court.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 83% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a Supreme Court justice, with 47% who say it’s Very Likely. Just eight percent (8%) say his confirmation is not very or Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is in line with previous voter perceptions just after Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the court early last year and after both of President Obama’s high court nominations.

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However, only 44% say based on what they know at this time that the Senate should confirm Kavanagh to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say he should not be confirmed, but a sizable 19% are undecided.

The high level of undecideds is sure to drop as voters become better acquainted with Kavanaugh.

By comparison, 51% of voters said Gorsuch should be confirmed just after his nomination in early February 2017. Forty-five percent (45%) believed Judge Sonia Sotomayor should be confirmed following her nomination to the high court by Obama in May 2009. Just 33% felt the Senate should confirm Elena Kagan after Obama’s nomination of her in May 2010.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 10, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Just over half (51%) of voters think the Senate should move as quickly as possible to confirm a replacement for Kennedy, and 87% rate the selection of a new Supreme Court as important to their vote in November.

Democrats want to push the Supreme Court confirmation vote to next year when they hope they will regain majority control of the Senate. Democrats have lengthened their lead on the latest Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot.

Forty-one percent (41%) of voters view Kavanagh favorably, including 28% who share a Very Favorable opinion of him. Thirty-three percent (33%) regard the federal appellate judge unfavorably, with 20% Very Unfavorable towards him. But one-in-four voters (26%) are not sure what they think of the new nominee.

By comparison, 48% viewed Gorsuch favorably right after his nomination, while Sotomayor and Kagan were seen favorably by 49% and 45% respectively.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of Republicans view Kavanaugh favorably, compared to 15% of Democrats and 37% of voters not affiliated with either major party. But roughly 30% of both Democrats and unaffiliateds are undecided.

While 79% of GOP voters think the new nominee should be confirmed by the Senate, just 16% of Democrats agree. Unaffiliated voters are almost evenly divided, but 26% are not sure.

Kavanaugh is more popular with men and with voters 40 and over.

Only 26% of blacks view him favorably, compared to 44% of whites and 41% of other minority voters. Whites are the least likely to be undecided.

Voters agree that no one Trump names is likely to satisfy the majority of both Republicans and Democrats

But most also believe that every judicial nomination made by a president is entitled to a deciding vote by the U.S. Senate.

The Supreme Court handed down some major wins for conservatives and the Trump administration in the closing weeks of its latest term and now earns its highest approval rating in several years.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 10, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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