Sometimes, polling is helpful to gauge how the voting public feels about an issue or a politician ahead of an election. Routinely, the conclusions are wrong, though so often we want them to be right.
But when it concerns what the American people think about a Supreme Court nominee, it should have absolutely no bearing on the situation at hand. Whether it’s positive or negative makes little difference and the president should pay it no mind.
On Wednesday, Reuters released a new poll showing that opposition to Kavanaugh is increasing, emphasis mine.
The Sept. 11-17 poll found that 36 percent of adults surveyed did not want Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court, up 6 points from a similar poll conducted a month earlier.
Only 31 percent of U.S. adults polled said they were in favor of Kavanaugh’s appointment.
Support for Kavanaugh was higher among Republicans, but fewer than two out of three, or 64 percent, said they were in favor of his nomination.
And then there’s this piece of information that’s supposed to shock us during a process that has become increasingly partisan.
If support for his nomination remains this weak, Trump’s pick would rank among the lowest-supported Supreme Court nominees to later be confirmed, according to historical data from Gallup.
What does being the “lowest-supported” nominee have to do with anything? Would being one of the “highest-supported” nominees mean anything at all? No, it would not.
The closest the voting public has to having any say whatsoever in selecting a Supreme Court nominee is in who they choose to support for president on election day. The candidate they vote for may then, in turn, nominate one or more individuals to the high court. Selecting who they want to do the appointing (and confirming) is under their one-vote control. However, influencing the president’s choice for the Supreme Court? They have no say.
And they shouldn’t.
It is blatantly obvious that the Reuters poll is trying to sway increasingly frustrated public perception. If the country is viewed as having a real issue with an action that only the president can take, then maybe he should do what’s best for the people and rectify the situation. Right?
There are many privileges afforded a president in this great land of ours. One is the very particular chance to appoint a nominee to the highest court in the land. What the public thinks of their list of nominees, or who is actually placed, matters little. That goes for any president, Republican or Democrat.
It doesn’t really matter how Americans who are completely removed from the situation view the current scandal (or lack thereof) surrounding Kavanaugh. What matters is the truth. If he is guilty of the allegations against him, then he should be removed from consideration even this late in the game and another nominee should take his place. If he is innocent, and that seems to be the case, then the process should continue.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if a Supreme Court nominee is liked by 5% or 95% of the public. The president and the ensuing process get the final say.