There is a saying in Washington: If Republicans lose Fox News, the battle is over.
The poll, released Sunday, shows that 50% of surveyed voters disapprove of Kavanaugh, while just 40% approve of his nomination. Never before has a Supreme Court nominee had poll numbers this bad. Never before have half of poll respondents said they don’t want a presidential nominee to take his place on the high court.
These bad numbers for Kavanaugh are a direct result of Dr. Christine Ford’s accusations against him, according to Fox News. Before the sexual assault allegations were made the majority of Fox News poll respondents were in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Not only that, but more people polled say they believe Dr. Ford’s accusations of sexual assault than believe the Supreme Court nominee, who is still denying the allegations.
Thirty six percent of people believe Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when he was drunk at a house party in Maryland when they were in high school in the 1980s.
But only 30 percent of respondents said they believed Kavanaugh‘s denials of the charge instead of Ford. Another 30 percent of the survey’s respondents said they were unsure who is telling the truth.
Women are more likely to believe Ford (by 10 percentage points). Among suburban women that jumps to 17 percentage points, indicating a problem for Republicans. Overall men agree with Ford by a margin of just one percentage point.
Voters are also divided by education: those with a college degree believe Ford by a 14-point margin, while those without a degree side with Kavanaugh by 17.
While the poll shows that 81 percent of Republicans support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and 82 percent of Democrats oppose it, Kavanaugh‘s support among independents has dropped by 12 percentage points in just one month.
According to Fox News:
“The 50 percent opposing Kavanaugh is the highest opposition to a Supreme Court nominee in Fox surveys going back to 2005. Before his nomination, the previous high was when 39 percent opposed Neil Gorsuch in March 2017.”
“It’s not surprising Kavanaugh’s numbers would drop given the nature of the claim. Accusations tend to drive opinion when they come late in the game and when people don’t know much about the person who is being accused.”
Fox News also surveyed voters in “swing districts” that could go for either a Democrat or a Republican in November’s midterm elections. They found that among voters in these districts, 35 percent would vote confirm to confirm Kavanaugh while 54 percent would not vote to confirm him at this time.
This new Fox News Poll is just the latest piece of evidence that the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh are serving as a drag on the entire Republican Party. It appears that they believe the GOP would be better off to ditch Kavanaugh now, cut their losses, and focus on damage control for the midterms.
That would be the sensible thing to do, but Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues in the Senate are not sensible. They don’t care what the voters think. They just want their right-wing candidate on the Supreme Court, and they will do anything to make that happen.
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.