Law & the Courts

Poll: Americans Divided on Kavanaugh as Confirmation Begins

Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House, July 9, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Americans are divided on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as the first day of his confirmation hearing begins on Tuesday.

A slight plurality, 40 percent, say the Senate should confirm President Trump’s nominee to replace former Justice Anthony Kennedy, while 36 percent think he should be denied a seat on the court, according to a Gallup poll that was released on Tuesday and that was taken from August 20 to 26.

Public opinion has stayed largely the same since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced in July. Support for Kavanaugh falls along party lines for the most part, with 72 percent of Republicans backing him and 17 percent of Democrats opposing him. Since July, support among Democrats has ticked up 3 percent, and among Republicans it has sunk 4 percent. Independents are split evenly, with 37 percent supporting and 37 percent opposing his nomination.

Support for Kavanaugh is considerably less than the support for many recent Supreme Court nominees, including Merrick Garland, who garnered 52 percent favorable ratings, and Sonia Sotomayor, who had 54 percent support.

Democrats have threatened to tank Kavanaugh’s nomination, as have two undecided Republicans senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. The minority has raised concerns about his views on abortion and executive power, and Democrats have requested millions of documents from the his time as staff secretary to President George W. Bush.

Kavanaugh will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee beginning on Tuesday.

NOW WATCH: “Getting to Know Brett Kavanaugh”

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