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Slim Majority of Americans Support Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation: Poll

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts during the final minutes of her testimony on the third day of her Senate confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, October 14, 2020. (Susan Walsh/Pool via Reuters)

A slight majority of Americans support President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left on the Court by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last month, according to a new Gallup poll.

Fifty-one percent of Americans said they supported Barrett, while 46 percent said they did not want her to be seated on the Court, according to the poll conducted between September 30 and October 15 — four days after her nomination and the last day of her confirmation hearings, respectively.

Three percent had no opinion, a much lower number than for any other nominee since Gallup began measuring public support for nominees in 1987.

According to Gallup, which has measured support for eleven Court nominees before Barrett, 22 percent of Americans, on average, have not had an opinion in polling taken just before the last eight justices’ confirmations.

Gallup offered several explanations for respondents’ irregularly decisive stance: the nomination process is occurring in tandem with a presidential election which has already seen millions of ballots cast; the bipartisan war over the confirmation in light of Republicans’ refusal to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016; and increased awareness of Barrett, as Trump had previously touted her as a potential nominee in the past.

Support for Barrett largely falls along party lines, the survey found.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats said they do not support Barrett’s confirmation — the highest level of opposition for a Court nominee among those who identify with the party not holding the White House in the poll’s history. In 2018, 78 percent of Democrats opposed Brett Kavanaugh following his tense confirmation hearings, which largely focused on sexual assault allegations leveled against him upon his nomination.

Similarly, 89 percent of Republicans support Barrett, more than any other nominee dating back to 1987. Seventy-six percent of Republicans supported Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch

Barrett received support from 52 percent of independents, the same level of support shown to Ginsburg, and higher than President Trump’s other nominees Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, who received 44 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

The Senate is expected to confirm Barrett sometime next week, roughly one week before the November 3 election. Only two Republican senators have expressed reservations about Barrett’s confirmation, leaving the GOP with a winning majority of 51 votes in support of the 48-year-old conservative Catholic judge.

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