Politics

Kavanaugh, hemorrhaging support, pulls off an underwater hat trick on polling for the week

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh speaks on the second day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 5, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

A third poll this week released Thursday showed opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination has spiked since the accusation arose last weekend that he sexually assaulted a woman when the two were in high school.

Opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation rose 9 points since last month, with 38 percent now opposing him (including 27 percent who strongly oppose) compared to 34 percent who support his nomination, according to an NBC/WSJ poll. 

It was the first such poll since the polling began in 2005 with John Roberts’ nomination in which a nominee was underwater. It’s also the third poll this week showing more opposition to Kavanaugh than support, including one from Reuters/Ipsos and Gallup.

Chart showing opposition to Kavanaugh rising from 26% in July to 38% now.

The poll was conducted entirely after the sexual assault allegation first came to light (Sept. 16-19) and the most dramatic swing came from independents, who supported him by +15 in August and are now against him by -16.

Watch the White House on this over the next several days. Even though Donald Trump has said what a great guy Kavanaugh is and cast him as the victim in this process, the White House still has not thrown its full weight behind Kavanaugh. 

By trying to keep Trump from going all in with Kavanaugh the way he did with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, the White House has tried to keep an exit plan handy in case things go south. As of Thursday night, it appeared productive hearing negotiations might actually be under way between lawyers for Kavanaugh accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and the Judiciary Committee, but that hearing likely won’t take place on Monday.

Every day that vote doesn’t happen is a bad day for Brett Kavanaugh, because he’s effectively hemorrhaging support at this point.


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