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New poll suggests opposition to Kavanaugh nomination is growing

Kavanaugh was already unusually unpopular, but there's some compelling evidence that his standing is getting worse, not better.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Judge Brett Kavanaugh his Supreme Court nominee, in the East Room of the White House, Monday, July 9, 2018, in...

Hugh Hewitt, a prominent conservative observer and an MSNBC contributor, made the argument this morning that journalists living inside "blue bubbles" -- major urban areas on the costs -- have a skewed perspective when it comes to public support for Brett Kavanaugh. Those media professionals are "talking to each other and not Americans across the country," the conservative host wrote.

The "smears" against the Supreme Court nominee, Hewitt added, "are going to backfire," whether urban-based journalists realize it or not.

I try to be mindful of this dynamic. The controversies surrounding Kavanaugh seem to be intensifying, jolting the broader political debate, but it's not hard to imagine much of the Republican base rallying behind Donald Trump's nominee in ways those voters might not have before recent developments.

It's why polling has become so important: it offers us a quantitative way to gauge public attitudes about an evolving debate. And according to a new national Fox News poll, opposition to the conservative jurist is surprisingly broad.

Voter support for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court is down in the wake of Christine Ford's assault allegations, as more believe her than him.Currently, 40 percent of voters would confirm Kavanaugh, while 50 percent oppose him, according to a Fox News poll. Last month, views split 45-46 percent (August 19-21).

Note, the survey was conducted Sunday through Wednesday of last week.

The same poll found a plurality of Americans believe Christine Blasey Ford more than they believe Kavanaugh, and a 59% majority expressed support for delaying the confirmation process.

To be sure, as we discussed last week, Kavanaugh was already an unusually unpopular nominee for the high court before the public heard about the allegation from the California professor.

But over the last week, there's some compelling evidence that Trump's Supreme Court nominee is growing less popular in the wake of the accusations, not more.

Postscript: The related allegation from Deborah Ramirez was only published last night, so it'll be a while before we know whether, and to what extent, her claims affect Kavanaugh's public standing.

Correction: I'd originally misstated when the Fox poll was conducted. The above text has been corrected.