Additional data shows that partisan divide is growing over whether the Senate should keep the filibuster

Democrats in the Senate have said they will filibuster President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, even Democrats regard Gorsuch as qualified for the Court — though they would rather he not be confirmed to the lifetime appointment.

The conflict over Gorsuch involves more than this individual appointment. Democrats have enough Senators to filibuster Gorsuch, but Senate Republicans expect to respond with the so-called “nuclear option": eliminating the 60-vote requirement to move forward. If the nuclear option is adopted, all it would take to confirm a nominee would be 51 votes, and the GOP currently has 52 Senate seats.

As they have said in previous polls, Americans this week say the filibuster is generally a good thing and they don’t want to see it eliminated.

But opinion on the filibuster has become increasingly politicized in the last few weeks.

Just a few weeks ago, Republicans were divided when it came to whether the filibuster was a good idea. Now, by 43% to 31%, they say it is not. In the same period, Democrats have become more supportive of the filibuster, and say it is a good thing by more than four to one. 

Democrats reject the nuclear option. By more than three to one, they don’t think the filibuster should be eliminated. They would keep it.

Republicans, however, who three weeks ago were divided closely on whether or not the filibuster should be eliminated, now say they would get rid of it by nearly two to one.


See the rest of this week's YouGov/Economist Poll

YouGov/Economist Poll archives

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