So is it a majority or a plurality? Yesterday we saw the latest Politico poll ringing up 44% support for Neil Gorsuch with not even a quarter (23%) saying Chuck Schumer should stick to his guns and filibuster the nomination. This morning the NBC News|SURVEYMONKEY poll came out with some even sunnier figures, assuming you want to see the court filled up. More than half of all voters in this survey think Gorsuch should receive an up or down vote, including nearly a third of Democrats.
A majority of Americans overall (54 percent) say that Senate Democrats should allow a vote on Gorsuch. Just 37 percent say they should not allow a vote.
Democratic Senators have said they may filibuster Gorsuch in order to prevent a vote effectively leveraging their only opportunity to stop his appointment to the Supreme Court.
While a sizable majority of Democrats, 64 percent, say that Senate Democrats should prevent a vote, 31 percent say they should allow a vote.
Frankly, I’m leaning toward Allahpundit’s interpretation of these wavering figures. It’s easy enough to say that more people want to see this confirmation process finished than are hoping for a filibuster and an eight person court, but the actual margin is definitely a known unknown. The proof for that assertion can be found in the don’t know / don’t care column. The NBC poll doesn’t offer an “unsure” or “don’t know” option. They just wind up with a relative handful of “no answer” entries, while Politico gets nearly a quarter of respondents saying that they don’t know. So how many voters are actually tuned in to the SCOTUS nomination circus and have formed an opinion and how many are pulling an answer out of a hat? Consider the fact that 57% of them couldn’t name a single member of the current court and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
With that in mind it’s easy enough to conclude that maybe Chuck Schumer isn’t in as much trouble with his base (or anyone else for that matter) if he goes to the mat on this. 64% of Democrats seem to support a filibuster and the rest probably range between not having an opinion either way or not even knowing that this is going on because the new season of Dancing With the Stars kicked off a couple of weeks ago. Sure, he’s potentially ticking off somewhere between 44 and 54 percent of the general pool, but they probably weren’t fans of his to begin with.
There were a couple of other figures in this morning’s survey worth a quick look. The first one is Trump’s approval rating. At the same time as the Morning Joe crew was barking about the President tanking at 35%, their own network had him at 42% (down one point from February). Not good, but also not much movement. At this point I think the relentless naysaying in the media has helped strip away all but the rock solid base that carried Trump through the primaries. If he wants to see those figures turn around, his policies are going to have to start producing some tangible results that voters can feel in their day to day lives.
The final data point is the feature item on NBC’s site, dealing with how “fractured” the two parties are right now. Solid majorities of both Democrats and Republicans feel that their own party is divided right now. But even larger majorities are sure that they will be united by the time we get around to the 2018 midterms. That sounds like a significant amount of sunshine to be blowing up our collective skirts if you ask me. The Republican part of the equation is a no brainer because we can’t even get the entire House majority to line up behind Team Trump and there are still some tattered remnants of the NeverTrumpers lurking out there and occasionally throwing bombs. The Democrats’ situation isn’t quite as obvious because it’s far easier to huddle together when you’re in the minority and licking your wounds from a bad electoral beating. But there are still lingering waves of resentment between the Clinton Incorporated crowd and the Sanders / Warren wing. That was made pretty clear when they had that razor thin vote for the new DNC Chair recently.
Does anyone really think that’s all going to heal up by next spring when we get back into full campaign mode for the midterms? Frankly, I’ll believe it when I see it.