The Corner

Law & the Courts

Which Americans Support Judge Kavanaugh?

Brett Kavanaugh and wife Ashley listen to his introductions at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, September 4, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

If you’ve read or heard anything about the polling on whether Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed, you probably know two things: First, his support is weaker than usual, and running behind opposition; second, there’s a gender gap in public opinion about him.

Reuters-Ipsos shows that men support his confirmation, 40-35 percent; women oppose it, 37-26 percent. So, using one definition of the gender gap, there’s a gap of 14 points (since 40 percent of men but only 26 percent of women support confirmation).

But Reuters-Ipsos shows other breaks in public opinion that deserve mention. Frequency of church attendance is one. People who attend services once or more a month favor confirmation 42-29; people who attend less often, or not at all, oppose 40-29. Call it a “religiosity gap” of 13 points.

Marital status is also related to support. Those who are married or widowed support confirmation 42-33 percent. Those who are divorced, never-married, or cohabiting oppose confirmation 39-22. The marriage gap is 20 points.

You can also use the Reuters-Ipsos site to check how these factors interact. Married and widowed women support confirmation, 36-31. Other women oppose him, 42-15 percent. Among women, then, there’s a marriage gap of 21 points.

Marital status is usually more predictive of political attitudes and voting behavior than sex is. The Kavanaugh nomination is another case in point.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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