Plurality of Americans Oppose Nomination of Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Plurality of Americans Oppose Nomination of Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 23
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows a plurality of Americans oppose the nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. That is an increase of nine percent from the week President Obama announced her nomination and the highest level of opposition to date in Rasmussen Reports tracking of the Kagan nomination.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters shows 35 percent think Kagan should be confirmed by the Senate for the Supreme Court while 42 percent oppose her nomination and 23 percent are still undecided.

By comparison, just before Senate hearings began last summer for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, 37% favored her confirmation, and 39% were opposed.

Two weeks ago, 33% thought Kagan should be confirmed, and 41% disagreed. Rasmussen has found support for Kagan’s confirmation was highest in mid-May, when 39% felt that way. Still, the same number (39%) did not think she should be a Supreme Court justice.

Polslster Scott Rasmussen commented, "Whether or not voters want to see it happen, a solid majority believe she is likely to be confirmed. Eighty-three percent (83%) say Kagan will be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, including 54% who say it is Very Likely. Only six percent (6%) say it is unlikely she will be confirmed. Voters have been very confident about Kagan’s confirmation since her nomination."

Voters give the former Harvard Law School dean mixed reviews. Forty percent (40%) have a favorable impression of Kagan, while 41% view her unfavorably. Those numbers include 17% who view her Very Favorably and 19% who view her Very Unfavorably. Another 19% are undecided.

The new findings mark a slight improvement in Kagan’s favorability ratings. Earlier this month, 36% viewed Kagan favorably, and 42% viewed her unfavorably. In late May, 47% viewed Kagan unfavorably.

"Historically, for all recent nominees except Samuel Alito, the longer a nominee is in the confirmation process and the more that is known about them, the lower their level of public support. That’s one reason why, while Republicans were more willing to take their time, Democrats pushed for an early confirmation hearing for Sotomayor and are doing the same for Kagan," Rasmussen said.

Support for Kagan’s confirmation remains unchanged among Republicans and voters not affiliated with either political party. But support among Democrats is up six points from two weeks ago.

Voters’ perceptions of Kagan’s ideology also show little change. Forty-two percent (42%) view Kagan as being politically liberal, down slightly from findings two weeks ago and more in line with results found when she was first nominated.

Thirty-six percent (36%), however, see Kagan as moderate, up six points from the past several surveys and the highest level measured so far. Only five percent (5%) see Kagan as politically conservative.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Kagan are set to begin next Monday.


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