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65% Say Most Judges Should Be Elected, Political Class Disagrees

Even as the political battle over Wisconsin’s recent state Supreme Court election continues, most voters favor the election of judges and think there should be term limits on how long someone can serve on the bench.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters think most judges should be appointed. Sixty-five percent (65%) disagree and think most judges should be elected. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This marks little change from a survey in August.

The Political Class disagrees, however. While 72% of Mainstream voters say most judges should be elected, a plurality (49%) of the Political Class believes they should be appointed.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of all voters think judges should be term-limited. Only 20% disagree. It’s important to note, however, that the question did not specify how long judicial terms should be.

But voters feel less strongly when asked if there should be an age limit so that people cannot serve as a judge after a certain age. Forty-eight percent (48%) favor an age limit, but 41% are opposed. Again, no specific age was cited in the question.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 9-10, 2011 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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