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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Public Support for Sotomayor Among ‘Highest Recorded’

Despite the conservative cultural warriors’ campaign to prevent the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, she enjoys a level of popular support “among the highest recorded for recent Supreme Court nominees,” according to TDS Co-editor Ruy Teixeira. As Teixeira explains in his current ‘Public Opinion Snapshot‘ at the Center for American Progress web pages,

In a just-released ABC News/Washington Post poll, 62 percent of the public says Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court should be confirmed by the Senate, compared to just 25 percent who think she shouldn’t be confirmed….

And, when asked about Sotomayor’s race/ethnicity, as a factor in her decision-making, the majority is not buying the meme that she is biased, as Teixeira notes:

…Just 22 percent of Americans think Sotomayor’s racial and ethnic background plays a negative role in her decisions as a judge, compared to 52 percent who think her background plays no role and 16 percent who think it plays a good role.

Regarding her views on abortion, Teixeira adds that “the public is clearly not terribly frightened by conservatives’ allegations that Sotomayor might be pro choice.”

By a 60-to-34-percent margin, they say if Sotomayor was on the Court they would want her to vote to uphold the landmark Roe v. Wade case that established abortion rights in the country. This is consistent with other recent poll findings that show, if anything, increased opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade. In 2006, 62 percent in a CNN poll said they would not like to see the Supreme Court overturn its Roe v. Wade decision; in their most recent reading, in May of this year, CNN found 68 percent opposed to a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Teixeira, whose forthcoming Progressive Studies program report, “The Coming End of the Culture Wars,” will be released later this month, concludes that “…It just doesn’t seem like the culture wars line of attack is working for the conservatives…who are losing one of the chief weapons in their political arsenal.”

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