Sturdy Backing for Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court Confirmation Holds Steady

47% of voters support her Senate confirmation; 19% oppose it
March 22, 2022 at 6:00 am UTC

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has maintained her public support in advance of her time under the Senate’s microscope in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings this week, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey.

What the numbers say

  • Just under half of the U.S. electorate (47 percent) said the Senate should vote to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court while 19 percent said she should be rejected.
  • One-third of voters (34 percent) have no opinion on President Joe Biden’s pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, including pluralities of independents (43 percent) and Republicans (41 percent).
  • Since Biden announced Jackson as his nominee, the share of Republican voters who oppose her confirmation has increased from 30 percent to 36 percent, and three-quarters of Democrats now support it, up from 70 percent a month ago.

The context

The latest survey, which was conducted before Jackson’s highest-profile week in the public square, provides a benchmark to help gauge whether her opponents can move the needle with their attacks on her suitability for the high court. 

Some Republicans are expected to try to tarnish her standing with accusations that she’s soft on crime from her days as a public defender, and that’s been joined by the allegation from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that she was sympathetic to child-sex offenders in her judicial decisions.

Hawley’s charge, which garnered swift pushback from the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (R-Ill.), had little salience with voters in advance of the hearing. Just 28 percent said they had seen, read or heard at least “some” about it, including 7 percent who said they had heard “a lot,” with little difference between Democrats and Republicans. 

The 140 voters surveyed who reported hearing “a lot” about Hawley’s claim were far more likely than the average voter to have opinions about whether Jackson should be confirmed, but her support held strong among this attuned demographic: 57 percent said she should be confirmed, compared with 29 percent who said she should not be confirmed. 

The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted March 18-21, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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