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GOP support for Kavanaugh and Trump is plummeting

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/27/2018 Eliza Relman
a man wearing a suit and tie © Alex Brandon/AP

  • Support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has fallen to its lowest levels since President Donald Trump announced his selection in July, according to new polling.
  • Opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination now exceeds support for the nominee.
  • Support for Kavanaugh among Republican women has dropped 18 points after the second of three sexual misconduct allegations were made against the judge.

Support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has fallen to its lowest levels since President Donald Trump announced the pick in July - and Republican women are a key reason for that.

Opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination now exceeds support for it.

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll has 43% of Americans opposing his nomination and 38% supporting it, while a new Morning Consult poll says 37% oppose the nomination and 34% support it.

Kavanaugh suffered an 11-point drop in net support from Republicans over the last week, according to Morning Consult - and this includes an 18-point drop in support from Republican women. Overall, 58% of GOP voters support his confirmation to the country's highest court, while 11% oppose it.

Morning Consult also found that GOP support for Trump dropped alongside support for his SCOTUS pick, falling 16 points since a similar poll last week. Among women, support for the president dropped 19 points, with 68% approving and 26% disapproving. (The poll's results for Republican voters have a four point margin of error).

Both polls were conducted before a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, came forward with allegations on Wednesday that Kavanaugh plied teenage girls with drugs and alcohol so that they could be "gang raped" at high school house parties in the early 1980s.

Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and nearly 60% of Americans say they will be following the proceedings closely, according to The Marist poll.

That poll also found that about a third of Americans (32%) believe Ford's claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in the early 1980s, while 26% believe Kavanaugh's denials, and 42% don't know who to believe.

But a large majority of Americans believe that if Kavanaugh did indeed attack Ford, he should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Nearly 60% say that if Ford's allegations are true, Kavanaugh isn't fit to sit on the country's highest court, but a majority of Republicans (54%) say the judge should be confirmed even if the allegations of sexual misconduct are true, according to The Marist poll.

Public opinion is markedly more supportive of the alleged victims in this case than it was in 1991, when law professor Anita Hill alleged that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her in the workplace. Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee then, too, in a highly publicized spectacle.

The Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,966 registered voters between Sept. 20-23 and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points. And the Marist poll surveyed 997 adults between Sept. 22-24 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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