Based on results from national polls published over the past few days, Brett Kavanuagh is drowning. Never before has a Supreme Court nominee been this far underwater. Every poll has shown that he is the most unpopular nominee in history.
And even though he’s really unpopular throughout the entire country, he’s even more unpopular in Maine and Alaska. These are the two states, of course, that are represented in the U.S. Senate by Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
Both of these women senators have indicated they are pro-choice and do not want the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade overturned. However, neither has come out to say they will vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination, even though he is decidedly NOT pro-choice, and may in fact vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. This is true even though polls have shown that two-thirds of Americans don’t want it overturned.
And based on indications of the thinking of their constituents, if Collins and Murkowski vote in favor of Trump’s right-wing nominee, they may have to re-think their plans about winning re-election. In short, Kavanaugh is not popular in either Maine or Alaska.
A recent poll in Maine found that 56 percent of registered voters opposed Kavanaugh‘s confirmation, including 57 percent of Independents. Collins’s base of support, women voters, oppose Trump’s nominee by a 39 point margin, 67 percent oppose to 28 percent support.
This shows that if Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh it won’t be because of her representing people from Maine. It will be because she is voting for the interests of the right-wing billionaires who fund the Republican Party.
Over half of the poll respondents — 54% — said they will be less likely to vote for Collins in the future if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh.
When asked to choose what was more important—stopping Kavanaugh or re-electing Susan Collins—stopping Kavanaugh beat keeping Collins more than a 2-1 margin, 52 percent to 25 percent.
Collins is no longer viewed as an independent voice for Maine, according to this poll. Nearly half (48 percent) of Maine voters now “believe that Senator Susan Collins answers more to Republican leaders like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, than she does to Maine voters.”
Not even one-third of voters — just 32 percent — now say she’s on the side of Maine. 57 percent of Mainers also believe Kavanaugh will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance.
With respect to Alaska, a PPP poll also found that keeping Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court is more important to that state’s voters than re-electing Sen. Lisa Murwowski, by a two-to-one margin.
Stopping Kavanaugh is important to 48 percent of Alaska voters while re-electing Murkowski to just 24 percent of her constituents.
According to the poll:
“This finding is consistent across all party lines, with a majority of Democrats (65%), and a plurality of Republicans (39%) and independents (47%) saying it is more important to stop Trump’s nominee from being confirmed than to re-elect Lisa Murkowski.”
One again, the question will become whether or not these senators will listen to the voters in their home states instead of to the big-money interests in Washington. On a personal level, both Collins and Murkowski probably are opposed to Kavanaugh, but they have shown that they can be bought.
However, these poll results show that it is politically safe for both Collins and Murkowski to oppose this nomination if those choose to do so.
There have been some indications that they may vote against Kavanaugh if the testimony from his accuser, Dr. Ford, is compelling and they believe she is telling the truth. It would be hard for two women of integrity to vote to confirm a accused sex offender to the Supreme Court, especially if they know he is lying.
Murkowski is also facing pressure in Alaska from the current governor and from Native Alaskans, one of her biggest groups of supporters.
Collins yesterday expressed displeasure with the comments made by President Trump attacking Dr. Ford.
We are still in the middle of a high-stakes Supreme Court drama, and Senators Collins and Murkowski are two of the very most important players. In fact, what they ultimately decide to do may determine the fate of not just the Kavanaugh nomination but the direction of the Supreme Court for decades to come.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.