Romney’s statement on the Supreme Court vacancy may boost his popularity among Republicans

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
September 23, 2020, 7:00 PM GMT+0

Two Republican senators have made clear they will not confirm a Supreme Court nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before the November election. But Republicans seemingly have the numbers needed to secure a Senate vote after Senator Mitt Romney of Utah — who in the past has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump — announced his support for a pre-election confirmation vote.

Romney’s recent statement vaults him to the spotlight in the debate over the Supreme Court vacancy. Americans tend to view Mitt Romney more unfavorably (46%) than they do favorably (32%), according to the most recent Economist/YouGov data (fielding took place prior to Romney’s statement on the Supreme Court vacancy).

Romney is especially unpopular among Republicans and the President’s backers: By two to one, Republicans (58% vs. 28%) and Trump supporters (64% vs. 29%) hold an unfavorable view of the Utah senator. Romney’s recent statement in support of Trump’s nominee could potentially improve his popularity among both groups.

A separate YouGov snap poll of 1,200 registered voters shows half of registered voters oppose the idea of President Trump appointing a Supreme Court justice before the coming January inauguration. The president is seemingly set to announce his Supreme Court nominee this Saturday, which leaves the Senate vote on whether to confirm his nomination.

But Americans are closely divided on whether the Republican-led Senate should confirm Trump’s nominee before Inauguration Day. Nearly as many say yes (45%) as they say no (48%).

See the toplines and tables results from this week’s Economist/YouGov survey

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between September 20 - 22, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.6% for the overall sample.

The YouGov snap poll of 1,200 registered voters was surveyed via YouGov Direct on September 19, 2020 between 9:07 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. This YouGov Direct Poll was weighted according to age, gender, race, education, and 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±3.5% 

Image: Getty