The poll shows that the electorate is more divided than it was in March 2016, when Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing to confirm Judge Merrick Garland, then President Barack Obama’s candidate for the seat vacated by Judge Antonin Scalia occupy. The Republicans at the time cited the proximity of the elections – Scalia died nine months before the 2016 election – as the reason for their refusal to hold a confirmation hearing for Garland.
In 2016, a poll in Monmouth found that nearly two-thirds of voters – 73 percent – were in favor of a Senate hearing for Garland, compared with 23 percent who were against.
And while 49 percent of voters now say the Senate shouldn’t consider a candidate for the Supreme Court towards the end of a president’s term, compared to 47 percent who say the chamber should, almost 6 out of 10 voters supported the election year deliberation of a possible justice back in 2016.
The Monmouth poll revealed a clear partisan split on the issue, just over a month after the election, for which voters in some states have already started voting.
Republican voters were more likely to support Trump when they filled the post of late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, than when they more generally supported a president who filled a Supreme Court position towards the end of her term. Nine in ten Republican voters support the former, compared with 83 percent who supported the latter.
Democratic voters, meanwhile, oppose such scenarios on almost identical levels, while independents are evenly divided.
As an undoubtedly controversial verification process gets underway in the coming weeks, the Monmouth poll revealed that Biden has maintained his lead over Trump at the national level, despite the fact that the race has intensified since earlier this month.
The poll found that half of the registered voters polled support Biden, while 44 percent favor Trump, which is smaller than Biden’s 51-42 percent lead over the president in early September.
The Monmouth University poll was conducted by telephone from September 24-27 of 809 registered voters across the country. The results of the survey show an error rate of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.