Washington, DC – Though most Americans are still forming their opinions about Obama’s nominee, a majority (54%) says that the Senate should vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice, including 40% who strongly feel this way. Only one in five Americans (21%) say the Senate should not confirm her nomination. A quarter of adults (26%) are unsure.
- Among Hispanics, three quarters (74%) say that the Senate should vote to confirm Sotomayor, including 64% who strongly feel that way. Just 9% believe that she should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, and 18% are unsure.
- Nearly three quarters of Democrats say that the Senate should vote to confirm her as a Supreme Court justice (74% vs. 8% who say it shouldn’t and 18% unsure). More Independents favor her confirmation than oppose it (41% vs. 19%), but 40% are undecided. Among Republicans, only four in ten (41%) oppose her confirmation while 29% favor it and 30% are unsure.
While a majority of Americans (55%) say that they have not yet heard enough about Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, to have an opinion of her, twice as many have a favorable impression as have an unfavorable impression of her (29% vs. 14%).
- Among Hispanics, 51% have a favorable impression of Sonia Sotomayor and only 4% an unfavorable impression, while 44% still need to hear more before forming an opinion.
- Clear differences emerge across party lines. While 42% of Democrats view Obama’s nominee favorably, just 22% of Independents and 11% of Republicans agree.
- Those most likely to hold a favorable view of Sotomayor include college graduates (41% vs. 17% unfavorable) and adults aged 55 and older (36% vs. 13% unfavorable).
- Though adults under 35 are less likely than older adults to view Sotomayor in a favorable light (23% vs. 31%), they are more likely to say that she should be confirmed (62% vs. 50%).
Consistent with majority support for her confirmation, more Americans say that if Senate Republicans overwhelmingly oppose the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, they would have a less favorable view of the Republican Party (37%) than say they would have a more favorable view of it (24%). Over one third either say that it would make no difference (31%) or are not sure (8%).
- Among Republicans, only 36% would have a better opinion of their own party if Senate Republicans moved to block Sotomayor’s confirmation, while 20% say it would actually make them view their own party less favorably. Others say it would have no impact on their view of their party (36%) or are not sure (7%).
- Among Independents, 33% would view the GOP less favorably while 19% would view it more favorably. Nearly half say that it would make no difference (35%) or are not sure (13%).
- Among Hispanics, 42% say that they would hold a less favorable view of the Republican Party if Senate Republicans were to oppose Sotomayor’s nomination and 20% say that they would view the Republican Party more favorably if her nomination were to be opposed. Others say that it would have no impact on their view of the GOP (28%) or are not sure (10%).
These are some of the findings of two Ipsos polls. The main poll was conducted June 4-8, 2009 with a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1000 adults aged 18 and older across the United States interviewed by Ipsos. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the U.S. been polled.
The findings among Hispanics are based on an Ipsos poll conducted May 28 – June 8 with a nationally representative sample of 505 Hispanics aged 18 and older, interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Hispanic Omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 4.36 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Hispanics in the U.S. been polled.
All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. In both polls, respondents had the option to be interviewed in English or Spanish.
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