by Grace Carr
A majority of voters support the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court if the FBI finds no corroborating evidence to back up claims of sexual assault made against the nominee, according to a Monday poll.
Following Thursday’s testimony from Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, 60 percent of voters support confirming judge Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court, according to a Harvard University September 2018 CAPS Harris Poll.
Three-quarters of voters said California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein should have given the letter from Ford to the Senate Judiciary Committee when she first received it in July instead of holding it until the day before Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Feinstein did not send Ford’s July 30 letter to the FBI until Sept. 13.
Most voters were strongly displeased with the Kavanaugh confirmation process, saying it was mishandled and politicized. Sixty-nine percent of voters called the process a “national disgrace,” according to the poll. Voters also blamed Democrats for being more partisan than Republicans, with 54 percent blaming Republicans and 55 percent blaming Democrats.
Before Thursday’s hearing, 60 percent of voters thought the allegations made against judge Kavanaugh were true. After the hearing, however, a most voters found both Ford and Kavanaugh credible. Sixty-seven percent thought Ford was credible, and 50 percent thought Kavanaugh was credible.
The FBI is currently investigating the claims made against Kavanaugh. The investigation follows a deal Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake made with Senate Democrats Friday. Flake agreed to advance the nominee for a vote on the Senate floor on the condition that the FBI investigate the allegations made against the nominee.
While Flake initially proposed an investigation limited in scope and no more than a week, the White House later said the FBI has free rein over the investigation. “They can do whatever they have to do, whatever it is that they do,” Trump said Saturday.
Many voters are still undecided concerning how their senators should vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Forty-four percent of voters think their senators should vote against Kavanaugh, while 37 percent say they should vote in favor. Nearly 20 percent of voters remain unsure.
The divisive confirmation process has also ignited voting interest, with 45 percent of voters indicating they are more likely to vote in the midterm elections than they were previously.
Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick have all made allegations against Kavanaugh, accusing him of sexual assault and harassment during his high school and later years. Swetnick’s ex-boyfriend reportedly filed a restraining order against her in 2001, and she has been sued for sexual harassment.
Sixty-three percent of voters think Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
The poll was conducted Sept. 26 to 27 among a nationally representative sample of 1,228 registered voters. A follow up flash poll was conducted from Sept. 29-30 among 1,330 registered voters.
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