We’ve identified 12 polls so far that have asked some version of the question, “Should Ginsburg’s seat be filled this year by Trump, or next year by the winner of the 2020 presidential election?” And on average, 52 percent of respondents have said to wait, while only 39 percent have said Trump should fill the seat now.
If that split sounds familiar, that’s because it closely echoes both polls of Trump’s approval rating (43 percent approval vs. 53 percent disapproval, on average) and national horse-race polls between Trump and Joe Biden (which average out to Biden 50 percent, Trump 43 percent).
In other words, partisanship is probably driving people’s opinions of when the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled. You also saw this in the crosstabs of almost every poll this week: On average, 78 percent of Republican respondents said Trump should fill the vacancy now, while 84 percent of Democratic respondents said it should be up to the winner of the election. (This is a reversal from 2016, when Democrats generally believed then-President Obama should have been allowed to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, while Republicans supported having the winner of the election decide.)