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.
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.