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America Deadlocks Over The ‘Case’ Against Kavanaugh

Thursday, September 27, 2018

As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares today to hear details of accuser Christine Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, America is a nation evenly divided against itself. Kavanaugh adamantly denies the charge.

The question is a simple one: Which comes closest to your own view of the current Kavanaugh controversy - that it’s an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing or that it’s a partisan witch hunt?

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s an honest effort. Just as many (44%) say it’s a witch hunt. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

A closer look finds that 68% of Democrats, 21% of Republicans and 46% of voters not affiliated with either major party believe the controversy over President Trump’s nominee is a good-faith effort to determine criminal wrongdoing. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans, 19% of Democrats and 43% of unaffiliateds feel it’s a partisan witch hunt. Democrats are the most undecided; Republicans the least.

A week ago, voters were closely divided over whether Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault Ford when they were both in high school, although many were still withholding judgment. Rasmussen Reports will update those findings early next week after Ford and Kavanaugh testify publicly today before the Senate committee.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 25-26, 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.

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. In a survey prior to the last-minute sex charges against him, voters said the opposition to Kavanaugh is driven more by politics than by honest differences of opinion.

Men and women are both almost evenly divided over the Kavanaugh controversy. Women are nearly three times as likely to be undecided.

The older the voter, the more likely they are to believe it’s a partisan witch hunt. Blacks are much more likely than whites and other minority voters to say the controversy is an honest effort.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of liberals and moderates by a 50% to 35% margin think the controversy is an honest attempt to get at the truth. Seventy-two percent (72%) of conservatives disagree and see it instead as a witch hunt.

Most voters who like Kavanaugh consider the controversy a partisan effort. The majority of those who dislike the nominee characterize it as a honest effort.

At the end of last week, 78% of all voters still thought Kavanaugh’s confirmation was likely. 

In a survey earlier this week, most agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence that the full Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination no matter what.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans - and a plurality (47%) of all voters - think most reporters are trying to defeat Kavanaugh’s confirmation

Most voters believe that when a public figure is accused of sexual wrongdoing, the media is more likely to regard him as guilty until proven innocent.

Even before Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination, most voters said it isn’t possible for him to nominate anyone to the U.S. Supreme Court that both parties will approve of.

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

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