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Voters Give High Court Mixed Marks on Ideology

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters think the U.S. Supreme Court is too liberal, while 31% say it’s about right ideologically, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Twenty-three percent (23%) say the court is too conservative. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

 New Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan  were both viewed as ideological liberals by voters at the time of their Senate confirmation hearings, so it perhaps comes as no surprise that a plurality of voters nationwide think any future high court nominees by President Obama will be too liberal.

Since July of last year, the number of voters who have said the Supreme Court is too liberal has ranged from 31% to 39%. The number who thinks the court is too conservative has ranged from a low of 18% to a high of 27% during the same period, while 31% to 42% have said the ideological balance is about right.

 Though overall voter ratings for the Supreme Court have shifted little from last month, the percentage that says the high court is doing a poor job is at its highest level since August 2007.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on November 15-16, 2010 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.

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