Last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh quickly became a political Rorschach Test: those inclined to believe Kavanaugh saw it as a triumph for the Republican jurist, while those inclined to believe Ford came away convinced that it was the professor who made the stronger case.
What did the public at large think? We're starting to see the first round of independent polling, and it's likely the Supreme Court nominee and his allies won't like the results.
With wide gender, racial and partisan gaps, and a shift in support among independent voters, 48 percent of American voters say the U.S. Senate should not confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, as 42 percent say Kavanaugh should be confirmed, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today.This compares to the results of a September survey by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, showing 41 percent of American voters supporting a Kavanaugh confirmation, with 42 percent opposed. Independent voters, who supported Kavanaugh 45 - 39 percent September 10, oppose his confirmation 49 - 39 percent today.Women oppose confirmation 55 - 37 percent, while men support it 49 - 40 percent.
The same Quinnipiac poll found that while a narrow plurality believe Kavanaugh "is the target of a politically motivated smear campaign," a plurality also believed Ford's claims over his.
At face value, the fact that opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination has gone up in the wake of his testimony won't help persuade on-the-fence senators. But it's that gender gap that stands out as especially striking.
Last week, Donald Trump held a press conference at the United Nations, and a reporter asked about the message American women have received from the president's defense of Kavanaugh, and his willingness to dismiss the controversy as a "con job."
After a meandering answer, which included a claim that "there was no collusion" between him and Russia in 2016, Trump eventually said women agree with him about the Kavanaugh controversy.
"I'll tell you this: the people that have complained to me about it -- the most about what's happening -- are women," he argued. "Women are very angry.... Women are so angry."
Perhaps the president is confused about what it is that have made so many women "angry"?