Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Poll Shows Americans Are Divided

Now this is interesting. This is from The Wall Street Journal:

Americans lack consensus on whether the Senate should confirm Judge Samuel Alito as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, a Harris Interactive poll shows.

Almost equal thirds of all adults believe that Judge Alito should be confirmed (34%), should not be confirmed (31%) or say they aren't sure (34%), according to the poll. A majority of Republicans (65% vs. 9%) favor his confirmation, the polls shows, while a plurality of Democrats (48% vs. 14%) oppose it, and Independents are split (34% for confirmation; 38% against).

However, nearly 70% of those surveyed in the online poll of 1,961 adults would oppose Judge Alito's confirmation if they thought he would vote to make abortion illegal. That percentage rises among Democrats (86%) and Independents (74%), compared with 22% of Republicans. More than half of Republicans polled say they would support his confirmation if they thought he would vote to make abortion illegal, compared with 14% of Democrats.

So what does this mean? First, the Republicans, Christian fundamentalists, and right-wingnuts are going to support Alito, even if Alito slashes and drinks the blood of newborn babies on live TV broadcasts on CNN, Fox, and the big three TV networks. The Democrats seem more or less opposed to the Alito confirmation, no matter what Alito will say or do. But the big question is the Independents--which are split down the middle. Interestingly enough, when the question of Alito's possibility of overturning Roe is raised, both the Democrats and Independents oppose his confirmation. So abortion is the big issue that will keep or sink Alito's confirmation, as according to this poll. And it is no wonder, considering that Alito is replacing moderate conservative Sandra Day O'Conner, who pretty much sided with keeping abortion legal. So according to the American public, Alito's confirmation hearing will be a debate on the issue of abortion.

Alito and the Republicans know this. You can bet that the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee will be tossing softball questions to Alito, possibly not even raising the question of abortion. And whatever questions on abortion that are raised, Alito will try to side step the issue, make claims that he cannot answer such questions because the issue might come up in future Supreme Court cases, or claim that he was just a cog in the Justice Department that was following the wishes of his political superiors--this could be a defensive tactic if the Democrats start questioning him regarding the early Justice Department memos that he was invovled in. Either way, Alito is going to try to keep his views on abortion from becoming public. And if he succeeds, then the independents could remain committed to his confirmation.

And once he gets on the Supreme Court--WATCH OUT!

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