Oct. 20 (UPI) — A slim majority of Americans have voiced support for putting judge Amy Coney Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court — despite record opposition from Democrats, according to a Gallup poll Tuesday.
The Gallup survey found that 51% of respondents said they would like to see the Senate confirm Barrett this week to succeed late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — compared to 46% who said they would not.
The Senate judiciary committee held hearings last week and will vote on Barrett’s nomination this week. If the appointment is approved in committee, as expected, it will immediately go to the full Senate floor, where Barrett needs only a simple majority to win confirmation.
The survey was taken Sept. 30-Oct. 15, shortly after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his third Supreme Court nominee.
Politically, the survey found that 89% of Republicans favor Barrett’s confirmation and 84% of Democrats do not, the highest opposition share Gallup has ever recorded. By comparison, just 67% of Democrats opposed Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and 57% did so for Neil Gorsuch in 2017.
“The public’s initial support for Barrett’s confirmation is higher than either of President Donald Trump’s two previous nominees — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — had at any point prior to their confirmations,” Gallup wrote.
“But opposition is also higher than any other nominee’s initial reading. This is owed to the fact that the percentage of Americans with no opinion on the Barrett vote is strikingly lower than it has been for any other nominee in Gallup’s history.”
Three percent said they have no opinion on Barrett’s appointment. During confirmation for Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, 22% and 23% of respondents said they had no opinion, respectively.
“Several factors may be contributing to the high proportion of Americans expressing an opinion on Barrett’s confirmation,” Gallup added. “Among them is the fact that the nomination process is unfolding during a presidential election campaign in which millions of voters have already cast their ballots.
“Moreover, the fact that Barrett had been cited in the past as a possible nominee by Trump may have raised awareness about her.”
Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s high court nominee who was blocked by Republicans four years ago, similarly found approval among 52% of respondents when Gallup asked the question after his appointment in March 2016. Then, just 51% of Republicans opposed Garland’s nomination.
Gallup polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults in all states for the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 points.