WASHINGTON,. Opposition among Americans to Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has increased in the wake of his testimony last week before a US Senate committee in which he defiantly denied sexual misconduct allegations, Reuters/Ipsos polling data showed yesterday.
In the latest seven-day average in a survey of US adults, 41 per cent of respondents opposed Kavanaugh, 33 per cent supported the conservative federal appeals court judge and 26 per cent said they did not know.
Opposition to Kavanaugh grew 4 percentage points after the Sept 27 Judiciary Committee hearing in which university professor Christine Blasey Ford detailed a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh and he denied it, portraying himself as the victim of a “political hit.”
Opposition grew every day after the hearing in the poll, conducted between Sept 25 and Oct 1.
The increase in opposition to Kavanaugh, facing a confirmation vote in the Senate after being nominated by Trump for a lifetime position on the court, appears to be driven by those who previously did not have an opinion. The percentage of respondents with no opinion on Kavanaugh decreased by about 7 percentage points compared to a week before the hearing.
Support for Kavanaugh has remained relatively stable, the polling showed, rising slightly after the hearing.
Opposition rose among Democrats by 6 percentage points to 71 per cent and was relatively unchanged among people unaffiliated with a political party compared to before the hearing, according to the poll. Support among Republicans stood at 70 per cent, rising 4 percentage points in the days after the hearing, but was lower among Republican women, at 64 per cent.
Among independents and people unaffiliated with a political party, 31 per cent opposed Kavanaugh, 20 per cent supported him and 49 per cent said they did not know.
The fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination comes against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault that has toppled a succession of powerful men.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English. It gathered responses from 4,057 US adults, including 1,347 Republicans and 1,653 Democrats. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 2 percentage points. — Reuters