Brett Kavanaugh Is About as Deeply Unpopular as the President Who Nominated Him

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings just began this morning, but if polling is any indication, he shouldn’t expect much of the American public to be in his corner.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,003 people conducted last week and released Tuesday found that just 38 percent of people believe Kavanaugh should be confirmed, while 39 percent believe he shouldn’t and 23 percent had no opinion. According to the poll, only two nominees to the high court over the past thirty years have had less support for their confirmations than Kavanaugh: the right winger Robert Bork in 1987, whose nomination was defeated in the Senate, and Harriet Miers, who withdrew her nomination in 2005.


Of those surveyed, 46 and 44 percent of people, respectively, thought Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch should have been confirmed when Pew asked those questions in 2016 and 2017, the ABC News poll noted.

While the level of support for Kavanaugh’s nomination is strikingly similar to President Donald Trump’s own dismal approval rating, the poll also indicates that Americans’ views of how the Supreme Court should approach abortion are changing as well. In December 2005, 42 percent of people said that the Supreme Court should make it more difficult to obtain an abortion, while just 11 percent said the Court should make it easier; now, 30 percent of people said the Court should make it harder, while 21 percent say it should be easier.


But unfortunately, what the public thinks about Kavanaugh or the Supreme Court will not actually end up mattering much, because the Senate—a body where states made up of less than one million people get the same number of seats as California—is controlled by Republicans right now, with a healthy dose of dark money to help them get over the line. Democracy works.