Bench Memos

New Poll: Democrats Are Losing the Garland Nomination Fight

There’s something endearing about left wing groups burning through money attempting to promote the Garland nomination – and score political points – all without effect. We at the Judicial Crisis Network commissioned a new poll from North Star Opinion Research and it shows that the Administration’s principal argument – that Garland should get a hearing and a vote – is somewhere near the bottom of the list of priorities for Iowa voters, and that the GOP’s principled position opposing this is strongly supported by Republican voters with no apparent political downside. This means, among other things, that all of their efforts to bully Iowa Senator and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley by trying to incite Iowa voters have been fruitless.  Here are some highlights from the memo:

Iowans Like Grassley’s Strong Stand Against Garland

To the extent that Grassley’s position on this issue is important to voters, it is a modest positive for him – voters say that the position that “the American people need to have a voice in filling this vacancy by the person they elect as President in November, and the Court appointment should be made by the newly-elected president” makes them more likely to support Grassley by 32 to 28 percent with 38 percent saying it has no effect on their vote.

Iowans Want the Next President to Fill the Vacancy

All voters prefer that the vacancy be filled by the newly-elected president by 47 to 45 percent, a change from March when they preferred the vacancy be filled by Obama by 49 to 44 percent. Republicans want the vacancy to be filled next year by an overwhelming 77 to 17 percent margin, while independents agree by a much slimmer 48 to 44 percent margin, and Democrats want the vacancy to be filled this year by 86 to 10 percent. Again, Republican base voters are particularly adamant on this question, with 82 percent of strong Republicans and 85 percent of very conservatives wanting the vacancy to be filled by the next president.

Iowans Don’t Care About Holding a Hearing or a Vote

Just nine percent of all voters say that holding a hearing and vote on Garland is one of the top-three issues in determining their vote for President and Senate, tying it with protecting the electric grid against an EMP attack, and ranking it far behind immigration (20 percent), social issues like abortion and gay marriage (26 percent), government spending and debt (43 percent), terrorism and national security (49 percent), and jobs and the economy (60 percent). Among Republicans, just 4 percent say that hearing and a vote on Garland is a priority, similar to the 7 percent seen among independents.

Republicans Care More About the Issue Than Democrats

The decision about Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court is a very important voting issue for one-half of all Iowa voters, with Republican base voters granting it the highest importance. Fifty percent of all voters say that the decision is either the “single most important” (3 percent) or “very important” (47 percent) to their vote for President and Congress this year. Among Republicans, 60 percent say it is the single most important or very important voting issue, compared to 51 percent of Democrats, and just 43 percent of independents. The issue rises in importance among key segments of the Republican base, including 72 percent among “strong Republicans” (versus just 60 percent among “strong Democrats”), and 73 percent among “very conservatives” (versus just 50 percent among liberals and 44 percent among moderates).

You can read the whole memo here.


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