Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gallup Says Americans Want Alito Rejected if he would Vote to Overturn Roe

Gallup has some interesting results about Alito (I would say "Scalito" but apparently that would make me anti-Italian somehow).
* About the same number of Americans rate Alito's selection either excellent or good (43%) as rate it fair or poor (39%). Miers received a similar rating, but Roberts' rating was somewhat more positive: 51% excellent or good, 34% fair or poor.

* More people feel positive rather than negative about Alito personally -- 44% to 19%, respectively -- with another third offering no rating. Again, Miers' rating was similar, but a majority, 54%, gave Roberts a favorable personal rating.

* About half of those interviewed Tuesday night believe Alito's views are mainstream, while a quarter think his views are too extreme, and another quarter have no opinion.

* It doesn't bother most Americans (75%) that Alito is a man nominated to replace the first woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court. About the same percentage were not bothered when Roberts was first nominated to replace O'Connor (after Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, President Bush nominated Roberts to become chief justice).

* The public is evenly divided as to whether Alito probably would or would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Thirty-eight percent believe he would, and an equal percentage think he would not, with the rest offering no opinion.

* If it becomes clear Alito would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, Americans would not want the Senate to confirm him, by 53% to 37%.

* If most Senate Democrats oppose the nomination and decide to filibuster against Alito, 50% of Americans believe they would be justified, while 40% say they would not.

* If the Republicans then decide to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominations, to ensure an "up-or-down vote" on the nomination, Americans would be evenly divided as to whether that tactic was justified -- 45% say it would be, 47% say it would not.

Interesting results, the trick here I think is giving Americans something very coherent and easy to grasp about Alito. My perception is that no matter who a nominee is, the public gives them the benefit of the doubt, and if Democrats continue to do what they have begun doing in the last few days, repeating "he's out of the mainstream" or "he's too extreme" there will be no upsurge in public opposition to Alito. What must be done is that something simple and coherent must be established firmly and repeated over and over again. This poll indicates that if we can use opposition to Roe to do that, we can win on that. However, there are other arguments that may prove far more convincing and should create an even greater public support of Democrats blocking him. I am, of course referring to the idea that Alito consistantly comes down in opposition to equality. That I believe is the ticket to defeating this nomination. If we can establish a firm coherent reason be it opposition to Roe or hostility to equality, or anything else that may stick to demonstrate why the public should oppose the Alito nomination we will have a chance to win the filibuster battle that is bound to occur over this nomination.

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