Nation Remains Divided on Kavanaugh

In three days of polling since Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Supreme Court nominee’s ratings have improved a bit from his pre-hearing totals. But public opinion remains deeply divided along partisan lines. And, while the partisan gap remains much larger than the gender gap, the gender gap is growing. and HarrisX interviewed 3,826 Registered Voters after the hearings. Among those voters, 3,362 were following the story at least a bit. Forty-eight percent (48%) of them have a favorable opinion of Kavanaugh (see question wording and crosstab results). In the three prior prior to the hearing, that number was 46%.

That may not seem like much of a difference and it might be little more than statistical noise. On the other hand, Kavanaugh’s numbers were trending steadily downward prior to the hearing. At the very least, he appears to have halted that slide (see tracking results from August 15 to today). On the other hand, his first two days of polling following the hearing showed a nice bounce. On the third day, his numbers settled back a bit (see tracking results from August 15 to today).

Forty-eight percent (48%) of those following the story now want their Senator to vote for the confirmation of Kavanaugh. That’s also up two points from the three-days of tracking before the hearing. However, the gains have come all among men. On the three days prior to the hearing, 49% of male voters favored confirmation. After, that number improved slightly to 53%. However, support among women has remained constant at 43%.

It’s important to note that changing perceptions of Kavanaugh have always been around the margins. Our first poll on this topic was conducted in mid-August before his confirmation hearings. Since then, among those following the story, his favorability ratings on single nights of polling have ranged from a low of 44% to a high of 55%. The low was reached this past week just before the Judiciary Committee hearings. The high was reached in early September following his first round of public confirmation hearings (and before Dr. Ford’s allegations were made public).

Data for the three days prior to the hearing is based upon interviews with 3,000 Registered Voters. Of that sample, 2,573 were following the story at least a little bit.


Posted in Deeper Currents

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