POLITICS

Poll: Voters Lean Toward Supporting Confirmation Of Amy Coney Barrett

Just 27%, meanwhile, support increasing the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices.
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett delivers her opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett delivers her opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on Oct. 12, 2020.

Voters favor the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett by a 9-point margin, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

They approve of President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Barrett to fill the vacancy caused by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death by a slightly lesser margin ― 49% to 42%. But by 47% to 38%, they say they’d like to see their senators vote to confirm Barrett. In a previous HuffPost/YouGov survey, conducted in late September and early October, voters favored her confirmation by a 5-point margin. 

Several other polls similarly find support for Barrett’s confirmation, though by varying margins. In a recent Gallup poll, Americans said, 51% to 46%, that they would like to see the Senate vote in favor of Barrett, with her nomination receiving both record-high opposition from Democrats and record-high support from Republicans. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll of registered voters found 51% supporting her confirmation, with 28% opposed, representing an uptick in support since she was named.

By contrast, an Economist/YouGov poll released this week found voters closely split, with 45% saying the Senate should confirm Barrett and 43% saying it should not. In that poll, 38% thought Ginsburg’s replacement should be confirmed before the election, 7% said it should happen post-election but before new lawmakers are sworn in, and 44% said after new lawmakers are sworn in this coming January. A Washington Post/ABC poll conducted prior to the start of Barrett’s hearings also found voters saying, 52% to 44%, that the Senate should have waited until after the election to allow the presidential winner to fill the seat.

In the latest HuffPost/YouGov survey, Republicans are more united on the issue than Democrats are. A 91% majority of Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they’d like their senators to vote in favor of confirming Barrett, while a less-overwhelming 74% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters want their senators to oppose her confirmation. Voters who don’t have a preference for either party ― a small fraction of the electorate ― also lean in favor of Barrett’s confirmation.

Voters are more evenly divided on the timing of judicial replacements: 45% say that, in general, presidents serving the last year of a term should immediately nominate Supreme Court justices if a vacancy occurs, while 42% say presidents should wait until after the election to handle any Supreme Court vacancies.

From a list of 15 issues, the Supreme Court ranked among the top three for 22% of voters, putting it behind health care (49%), the economy (44%) and the coronavirus outbreak (34%) ― a showing that suggests there’s been little change in the Supreme Court’s salience since the beginning of October. Republican and Republican-leaning voters are currently 11 points likelier than Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters to say the Supreme Court is among their top three election issues.

Voters are about evenly divided on which of the presidential candidates would do a better job of choosing Supreme Court nominees, with 46% saying Joe Biden would and 45% saying Trump would.

Just 27% of voters are in favor of increasing the number of Supreme Court justices, an idea supported by some progressive Democrats. Another 43% are opposed, with 3 in 10 unsure. Only 9% strongly support the idea, with 31% strongly opposed. 

A two-thirds majority of Republican and Republican-leaning voters oppose adding more justices. Among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, a 43% plurality support the idea, with 20% opposed and 37% unsure. Democratic opinions could shift if those voters are given more definitive cues from their party leaders. Biden has not taken a definitive stance on the issue. He said last week that he has “not been a fan of court-packing,” but that he will lay out his position prior to the election.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Oct. 13-18 among U.S. registered voters, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate.