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Voters Feel No Rush to Make Lynch Next Attorney General

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Voters are in no bigger hurry than the Republican-led Senate to make Loretta Lynch the next U.S. attorney general.

Just 33% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the Senate should confirm the federal prosecutor from Brooklyn, N.Y., to be the nation’s highest law enforcement officer. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 27% oppose Lynch’s confirmation as attorney general, but 40% remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

These findings remain basically unchanged from late January just after Lynch’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee began. Sixty-one percent (61%) felt at that time, however, that President Obama’s nominee to replace Eric Holder was likely to be confirmed, although that included only 25% who said it was Very Likely.

Also little changed from the previous survey are the 35% of voters who view Lynch favorably, including 19% who have a Very Favorable opinion of her. Lynch is seen unfavorably by 28%, with 13% who share a Very Unfavorable view of the nominee. But 36% don’t know enough about her to venture even a soft opinion.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Lynch for confirmation by a 12-8 vote, with all eight negative votes cast by Republicans. A confirmation vote by the full Senate has been delayed due in large part to partisan disagreement over an unrelated piece of legislation. Some Democrats have accused Republicans of delaying a vote on Lynch because she is black.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 22-23, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Voters are sure about one thing when it comes to Lynch: They don’t want her to be like the man she’s been nominated to replace.

Holder remains one of the best-known but least popular members of President Obama’s Cabinet. By a 47% to 28 margin, voters believe he is more interested in politics than in administering justice in a fair way.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to be aware of Lynch’s nomination and to oppose it. Women are more undecided about her than men are.

Black voters view Lynch more favorably than white and other minority voters do and also believe more strongly that she should be confirmed.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Democrats think she should be confirmed as the next attorney general, a view shared by just 15% of Republicans and 33% of voters not affiliated with either major party.  But 41% of voters in the president’s party, along with 44% of GOP voters and 36% of unaffiliateds, are not sure.

More than a third of voters in all three groups have no opinion of Lynch, but Democrats are far more likely than the others to have a favorable opinion of her.

Lynch is in line to take over a department that 56% of all voters think is more concerned with politics than with making sure justice is done. Still, voters by a 50% to 38% margin regard the Justice Department as a protector of the legal rights of most Americans.

The Justice Department recently charged police in Ferguson, Missouri with a widespread pattern of racial discrimination, prompting the police chief to resign, but few voters expect Ferguson to become any safer. Very few think the federal government is much help to local police.

Fifty percent (50%) believe every presidential nominee should receive an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate. Just 22% disagree, with 29% more who are undecided.

However, only 17% of voters are even somewhat confident that the president and Republicans in Congress will be able to work together to do what’s best for the American people, and that includes just four percent (4%) who are Very Confident.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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