Voters Oppose GOP Maneuvering to Push through Trump’s Ultraconservative Supreme Court Nominee

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Monday, February 6th, 2017

The following data is from a national telephone survey of 601 likely November 2018 voters. The survey was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research from January 27 – 31, 2017, and has a margin of error of +/-4.0 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Fifty percent of respondents were reached on a cell phone.

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, a new national poll1 shows that voters believe that the nomination has real consequences for the direction of the country. Voters strongly oppose efforts by the Republicans to change the rules in order to push through Trump’s ultraconservative nominee.

Americans see this as a fight that matters to them. When presented with potential consequences and rulings that could result from Gorsuch’s confirmation, including overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving the flow of special interest money in politics unchecked, large majorities of voters say they are more likely to oppose the nominee.

Key findings from the poll, conducted January 27-31, 2017 on behalf of NARAL Pro Choice America Foundation, Every Voice, and End Citizens United, include:

  • Voters overwhelmingly believe that Trump’s nomination will have a real impact on the country’s future. Fully 72 percent of voters think the nomination will have a big difference on the direction of the country. Voters across the political spectrum agree on the importance of this nomination for the country, with 76 percent of Democrats saying it will make a big difference, along with 75 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Independents.
  • Americans strongly object to any GOP attempts to use political tactics to strongarm Trump’s nominee through the confirmation process. After hearing balanced messaging, seven in 10 voters (69 percent) oppose Republicans changing the rules to prevent a filibuster and allow the U.S. Senate to confirm a nominee with just a simple majority instead of the required 60 votes, with 54 percent strongly opposing this proposal. In fact, even 4-out-of-10 Trump voters (39 percent) oppose Republicans trying to change filibuster rules. 
  • Highlighting potential actions and rulings that could result from confirming Trump’s Supreme Court nominee makes voters much more likely to oppose him. Large majorities of voters say they are more likely to oppose Trump’s nominee when they hear a diverse set of issues that could be impacted by a nominee like Gorsuch. Actions that create strong opposition include:

    • Upholding the Citizens United decision to allow corporations, unions, and wealthy donors to spend more money on elections.  
    • Overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal.  
    • Eliminating or weakening environmental regulations that protect air, water, and land from pollution.  
    • Refusing to uphold or eliminating rights and protections for LGBT individuals.  
    • Failing to protect voting rights and make it more difficult for Americans, particularly the poor and people of color, to vote.  
    • Weakening the ability of labor unions to organize workers to negotiate for better wages and working conditions.
  • Voters strongly support legal abortion and oppose a Trump nominee they believe could put that right at risk. Seven out of 10 voters (69 percent) support a woman’s right to choose, and they recognize that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee jeopardizes the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal. More than half of voters (52 percent) think it is very or somewhat likely that Roe v. Wade will be overturned if Trump’s nominee is confirmed. This possibility raises strong opposition for voters, with 61 percent who say they are more likely to oppose a nominee who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • Voters have strong negative reactions to a Supreme Court nominee who will continue to allow corporations and special interests to use money to gain influence and drown out the voice of individuals in politics. Opposition to a nominee who wants no spending limits for corporations and wealthy individuals in elections is both broad and deep. Overall, 78 percent are more likely to oppose the nominee (56 percent much more likely to oppose), including 92 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of Independents, and 59 percent of Republicans. Three quarters of voters express a desire for their Senators to oppose a Supreme Court nominee who has ruled in favor of allowing campaign contributors to spend more money in elections.

Voters recognize this Supreme Court nomination is crucial to the direction of the country, and they strongly oppose any efforts by the Republicans to skirt the rules and push through Trump’s ultraconservative nominee.