Most Americans think Ketanji Brown Jackson will join the Supreme Court

Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
April 01, 2022, 6:15 PM GMT+0

According to the latest Economist/YouGov poll, American opinion toward President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson has mostly stabilized, with sharper partisan lines and increased belief that the Senate will confirm her.

Belief that Jackson will be confirmed has risen to 55% of Americans from 46%, with the share saying she won’t be confirmed dropping to 10% from 14%.

Democratic opinion has solidified behind Jackson, with 81% now approving of her nomination and 8% opposed to it, from 72% and 8% a week earlier. Republican disapproval has increased, but not by as much as Democratic approval has increased.

There’s a big increase in the share of Republicans saying Jackson isn’t qualified, to 50% from 39% last week. Net support for her being qualified among Democrats is little-changed. The share of Republicans with unfavorable views of Jackson also rose sharply this week, as did the share who say she is “very liberal.”

Opposition among Republicans has increased for Biden nominating a former public defender. While 38% of Republicans support that, 35% oppose it. Last week those figures were 41% and 28%. Support among Democrats also has slipped, more modestly.

Americans are split on whether Jackson is getting fair treatment from the Senate. While 59% of Republicans say she is and only 9% disagree, those figures are 16% and 59% for Democrats.

Potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Hawley were on the committee questioning Jackson. The shares of Americans with favorable and unfavorable views toward each are little-changed from when they were last polled about together, 10 months earlier.

There have been reports of texts exchanged between Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol which took place during the certification of President Biden’s victory. Justice Thomas’s favorability with Americans is up from when last polled in late February. In the latest poll, 41% had a favorable opinion of him and 33% an unfavorable one, compared to 35% and 32% in the earlier poll. The share of Republicans who view Thomas favorably rose sharply, to 66% from 53%.

Most Americans don’t know about Ginni Thomas; of those who do, nearly twice as many have an unfavorable opinion than a favorable one (27% to 15%). More Republicans view her favorably than unfavorably (22% to 12%) while by a bigger margin Democrats are unfavorable (43% to 14%).

See more on the latest Economist/YouGov poll