Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) doesn’t think President Obama should nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat because he believes the American people “should have a voice.” Of course, voters weighed in by reelecting Obama in 2012. But according to new polling out today, they haven’t changed their mind.
A new poll from Rasmussen Reports, which is known to lean a bit conservative in its results, finds that voters would prefer Obama to fill the vacancy rather than waiting until after the next presidential election.
The poll found that 51 percent of likely voters believe that Obama nominate Scalia’s successor, and 53 percent believe the Senate should not “reject or refuse to consider” the nomination. In fact, only 35 percent favor the kind of obstruction advocated by McConnell.
There are, unsurprisingly, partisan divides. Republican voters are more likely to oppose the president making a nomination (69 percent) and to favor the Senate blocking any nomination (55 percent). In contrast, 76 percent of Democrats — along with a majority of independents — support the president making a nomination.
Although respondents support Obama’s role, they do not believe the Senate will act. Only 27 percent believe it’s likely the Senate will approve a candidate Obama puts forth; 69 percent think it’s unlikely.
These poll numbers likely reflect the fact that, the Republican-controlled Senate actually represents a minority of voters. The party line has, however, wavered over the course of this week, with several Republican senators indicating a willingness to vote on a nominee.