Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is set to face a tough confirmation process before the Senate in the coming days, but GOP leaders can rest assured that the majority of the public backs Barrett’s installation on the court.
According to a new Morning Consult poll, nearly half of voters — 46 percent — agree that Amy Coney Barrett should be confirmed, as opposed to only 31 percent that believes the Senate should reject her nomination.
Democrats are losing
The poll was conducted from October 2-4, and according to pollsters, Democrats are “losing the Supreme Court messaging war” and public opinion concerning Barrett is trending towards the GOP.
According to the poll analysis:
The share of voters who said the Senate should reject her nomination dropped 3 points, to 31 percent, from polling conducted on Sept. 26. Both polls were conducted among roughly 2,000 registered voters each, with 2-point margins of error.
Seventy-seven percent of GOP voters back Barrett’s confirmation, up 6 points from late last month. Among independents, the share who said she should be confirmed increased 8 points, to 36 percent, while the share of Democratic voters who said she should be confirmed increased 10 points, to 24 percent.
Most importantly, a plurality of voters believe Barrett should be confirmed as soon as possible, regardless of the results of the November election — and that share of voters has grown nine points since late September.
Democrats are struggling to settle on a plan of attack against Barrett. The most likely approach involves attacking Barrett’s staunchly Catholic faith, but a full-on assault on her religious convictions risks alienating religious Democrats — a risk that Democrats can’t take ahead of the election.
Thus, Senate GOP leaders are charging ahead with Barrett’s confirmation with the American public behind them.
Confirmation hearings are set to begin on Monday when Barrett will be formally introduced by two U.S. senators from Indiana and a former law professor. Barrett will also deliver opening remarks to close the day.
Formal questioning will begin on Tuesday, and Barrett is expected to be grilled by Senate Democrats on hot-button issues such as abortion and healthcare.
Vice presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is expected to play a major role in the questioning process, and her handling of now SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in 2018 has given rise to much speculation that the process will be highly contentious.
However, Harris said on Thursday that questions about Barrett’s faith are “off the table,” and said during a Phoenix radio interview that “One’s faith should never be the basis of supporting or rejecting a nominee.”
Despite Harris’s statement rejecting speculation about her plan for questioning Barrett, the nominee’s religious beliefs factor heavily in her opinion on abortion, so it remains to be seen how far Democrats are willing to go to undermine Barrett’s credibility.