A new poll shows that most American adults and about half of Republicans would prefer the vacant Supreme Court seat to be filled after the 2020 election. Earlier polling suggested that most Americans would approve of moving forward with the nomination process before the election.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll, released Sunday, of over 1,006 American adults — 463 Democrats and 374 Republicans — with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points shows that 62% of respondents think that the vacancy left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be filled after the November election. About 23% said that they disagreed.
Eight out of 10 Democrats believe that Ginsburg’s seat should not be filled until after the election while about five out of 10 Republicans said the same.
Currently, former Vice President Joe Biden has a lead over President Donald Trump in the national polling for an election that could tip the scales of the nation’s high court for years.
The poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday following the death of Ginsburg, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and passed away at the age of 87 last Friday.
Since her death, there has been an argument as to whether or not the U.S. Senate — which has a 53-47 Republican majority — should move forward with the confirmation process once Trump selects a nominee, which he is expected to do later this week.
Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, many have pointed out that the Mitch McConnell-led Senate never voted on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, who was nominated in March of the 2016 election year after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found that 30% of respondents said that Ginsburg’s death will make them more likely to vote for Biden. Meanwhile, 25% said her death will make them more likely to vote for Trump.
Another poll released Sunday by pollster Scott Rasmussen of 854 likely voters interviewed on Saturday found that 52% believe the Senate should wait to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement until after the presidential election. Meanwhile, 41% believe the new justice should be confirmed as soon as possible. Rasmussen found a substantial partisan divide on the question.
A survey of 1,523 adults nationwide completed three days before Ginsburg’s death by Marquette Law School and the National Opinion Research Center found that substantial majorities of both parties favored holding hearings on any nominee in the event of a vacancy during the 2020 election year.
“Views on holding hearings do not vary much by partisanship,” the analysis reads.
About 68% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 71% of Independents said they would be in favor of holding hearings. Only 37% of Democrats and 31% of Republicans said they would prefer not to hold hearings.
When asked whether or not the Republican-led Senate’s decision not to hold hearings for Garland’s nomination in 2016 was the “right” or “wrong” thing to do, majorities in both parties (54% of Republicans) said it was the “wrong thing to do.”
The Marquette Law School survey used a national probability sample and contained a plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points margin of error.
Although Republicans have the majority in the Senate, two Republican Senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — have voiced the belief that the Supreme Court nomination process should not be taken up before election day.
"I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. We are now even closer to the 2020 election — less than two months out — and I believe the same standard must apply,” said Murkowski in a statement shared with media.
While President Trump has released a shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees, the Scott Rasmussen poll also found that 59% of the nation’s likely voters want Biden to reveal who he would nominate to the court if elected.