If you need a morning smirk, the Washington Post is a good place to start. The solemnity begins with the incredible headline: "Most Americans Want Sotomayor on Court."
"Soda who?" would be my guess for the most likely response. No one will convince me that more than 15% of most Americans could differentiate Sotomayor from soda crackers.
Most Americans Want Sotomayor on Court
Poll Indicates That 62 Percent Think Federal Judge Should Be Confirmed by Senate
By Jon Cohen and Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, June 28, 2009
A sizable majority of Americans want the Senate to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and most call her "about right" ideologically, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll Senate hearings on Sotomayor, President Obama's pick to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter, begin in two weeks, and 62 percent of those polled support her elevation to the court. Sotomayor, 55, is currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York.
If confirmed, Sotomayor would become only the third female justice and the second on the current nine-member court. But there is no gender gap in support for her, with men and women about equally likely to be on her side.
Partisan differences, however, abound. Nearly eight in 10 Democrats and about two-thirds of independents said they want the Senate to confirm Sotomayor, but that drops to 36 percent of Republicans. Overall, most Republicans deem the judge a "more liberal" nominee than they would have liked.
But Obama's nominee also divides Republicans: While conservative Republicans are broadly opposed, most Republicans who describe themselves as moderate or liberal support her. More than seven in 10 conservative Republicans said she is too liberal, which is more than double the proportion of centrist or left-leaning Republicans who say so.
Some opposition to her, however, comes from the other side, as about one in five of those who want the Senate to reject her see her as insufficiently liberal.
Overall, 55 percent of Americans said Sotomayor is about right on a liberal-to-conservative scale. About a quarter said she is a more liberal nominee than they would have liked, about the same proportion who called Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. too conservative when President George W. Bush nominated them....But most Americans do not think her life experiences influence the way she decides cases: Fifty-nine percent said the fact that she is a women does not factor in, and 52 percent said the same about her racial and ethnic background.
Among the 33 percent who said her gender plays a role, more than twice as many say that is a good thing than a bad thing. The groups most apt to call her gender a factor are those with a postgraduate education and liberal Democrats, and they overwhelmingly approve. Here, too, is no gender gap in attitudes.
On race and ethnicity, however, some groups tip the other way: Half of Republican men and 59 percent of conservative Republicans said these play a role in her decision making, with most of those who do saying that that is a bad thing.
The telephone poll was conducted June 18 to 21, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.