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Most Agree With Kavanaugh’s Harsh Criticism of Confirmation Process

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

An angry Judge Brett Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee late last week: “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 think he’s right. Even Democrats are conflicted.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the U.S. Supreme Court nominee’s statement. Thirty percent (30%) disagree, while 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree that Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has become “a national disgrace.” Even among Democrats whose senators have been leading the charge against the nominee, 40% agree, and only slightly more (43%) disagree, but 17% are undecided.

Just before a vote was scheduled last month in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats brought forward a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh 36 years ago when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh denies the charge which Democrats have known about since July and which so far no witness has confirmed.

The woman, Christine Ford, and Kavanaugh both appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday. The committee in a vote the next day recommended Kavanaugh’s confirmation on a partyline vote, but a vote by the full Senate was delayed a week pending an investigation of Ford’s charges by the FBI. Her charges also have prompted other women to come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, although some have since backtracked. None have been proven.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 1-2, 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.

Voters are slightly more likely now to believe Ford’s allegations, but last Thursday’s Senate hearing didn’t change many minds. Most voters still think Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation is likely.  Democrats are trying to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination, hoping that if they win control of the Senate in November they can force the president to pick a more liberal candidate for the Supreme Court.

The majority of both men and women are in equal agreement with Kavanaugh’s statement, as are voters of all ages.

Blacks are less likely to agree than whites and other minority voters.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of liberals disagree with the nominee’s view that his confirmation process has become a national disgrace. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of conservatives and 55% of moderates agree with Kavanaugh.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing agree with the statement by his Supreme Court nominee. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance, 57% disagree with Kavanaugh’s assessment.

As America becomes more familiar with Kavanaugh, voters are developing strong opinions about the Supreme Court nominee, and their willingness to vote for senators who support him hasn’t wavered.

As in all things Kavanaugh, voters are split along partisan lines: Democrats say the controversy surrounding him is an honest attempt to get to the truth; Republicans say it’s a partisan witch hunt.

In a survey just before last week's hearing, most voters still agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence that the full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination no matter what.

More voters than ever feel it’s impossible for Trump to nominate someone for the Supreme Court that both parties will support.

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

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