If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Voters Say No to Obama on Supreme Court

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Hillary Clinton seemed receptive the other day to naming President Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court if she is elected to succeed him this fall. Most voters, however, don’t approve of putting Obama on the high court and still aren’t interested in him running for a third term as president either.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters think the next president of the United States should name Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fifty-nine percent (59%) oppose such a nomination. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Even among his fellow Democrats, just 40% think an Obama nomination to the Supreme Court is a good idea. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Republicans and 65% of voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed.

Obama graduated from Harvard Law School and taught constitutional law for 12 years at the University or Chicago Law School.

Last July, Obama said he would win a third term as president if the law allowed it, but just 30% of all voters said they would vote for him. That support hasn’t changed: 31% say they would vote for Obama if he legally could seek a third term, but twice as many (62%) say they would not support him.

But the president has the support of 60% of Democrats if a third term was possible. Only eight percent (8%) of Republicans and 22% of unaffiliated would join them, though. We’ll see how Obama stacks up against the two leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination this year when Rasmussen Reports releases new numbers on the race between Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders tomorrow.

(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 January 28 and 31, 2016 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.

With just the first round of the presidential contest over, most voters still think the next occupant of the White House is likely to be a Republican.

Blacks are evenly divided over the question of whether the next president should name Obama to the Supreme Court, but 69% of black voters say they would support the president if he legally could seek a third term.

Only 18% of whites and 23% of other minority voters favor naming the president to the high court. Most white and other minority voters would not support the president for a third term.

Forty-one percent (41%) of political liberals approve of putting Obama on the Supreme Court, but only eight percent (8%) of conservatives and 20% of moderates agree.

Among voters who believe the next president should nominate Obama for the Supreme Court, 79% say they would vote for him if he ran for a third term.

The president acknowledged in his final State of the Union speech last month that “the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better” during his presidency, while at the same time speaking proudly of what he considers his greatest accomplishments. But for many voters, Obama's accomplishments are exactly what have divided us.

Still, voters regardless of partisan affiliation agree that the upcoming election will have little to do with the president’s record.

Just 31% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) believe the Supreme Court is too politically liberal. Just 23% think the high court is too conservative, while 30% now consider the Supreme Court’s ideology to be about right.

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

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.