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GOP Voters Madder, More Likely to Vote Because of Kavanaugh

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Republicans are madder about the Kavanaugh controversy than Democrats are and more determined to vote in the upcoming elections because of it.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of all Likely U.S. Voters say they are more likely to vote in the upcoming midterm elections because of the controversy surrounding President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee. Only nine percent (9%) say they are less likely to vote. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the controversy will have no impact on their vote. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans are more likely to vote because of the Kavanaugh controversy, compared to 54% of Democrats and 46% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. 

Sixty-two percent (62%) of all voters are angry about the U.S. Senate’s treatment of Kavanaugh, with 42% who are Very Angry. Fifty-six percent (56%) are angry about how the Senate treated Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, including 35% who are Very Angry.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans are Very Angry about the Senate’s treatment of Kavanaugh, a view shared by 30% of Democrats and 34% of unaffiliated voters. By comparison, fewer Democrats (48%) are Very Angry about the Senate’s treatment of Ford; 28% of GOP voters and 30% of unaffiliateds agree.

Democrats’ five-point lead on the weekly Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot has vanished. The two parties are now tied with less than a month until Election Day. We'll be watching to see if this is the beginning of a post-Kavanaugh trend.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 7-8, 2018 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.

An angry Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee at the last-minute hearing at which he denied multiple allegations of sexual assault when he was in high school: “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.” Most voters said he was right. Even Democrats were conflicted.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters who are Very Angry about the treatment of Kavanaugh are more likely to vote in the upcoming elections. Among voters who are Very Angry about the treatment of Ford, 70% say they are more likely to vote.

Just over half of both men and women say they are more likely to vote this fall because of the Kavanaugh controversy. Interestingly, 40% of women are Very Angry about the treatment of both Kavanaugh and Ford. Men are much angrier about the treatment of Trump’s nominee.

The older the voter, the angrier they are about the treatment of both Kavanaugh and Ford, but those 40 and over are madder about how Kavanaugh was treated.

Sixty percent (60%) of voters 40 and over are more likely to vote because of the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court nominee, compared to 43% of younger voters

After they both testified publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 47% of all voters who were following Kavanaugh news Very Closely believed him, while 41% believed his accuser instead. Among all voters, it was a tie.

Following the Senate’s vote to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday, 50% think he belongs on the Supreme Court, but 42% disagree.

Earlier this month, 65% gave the Senate poor marks for its handling of the Kavanaugh nomination. Just 14% felt it did a good or excellent job.

Democrats were trying to derail Kavanaugh's nomination in hopes that they win a Senate majority in November, but most voters agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence that the full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination no matter what.

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

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