How important is the SCOTUS pick to Americans?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
September 28, 2020, 2:31 PM UTC

COVID-19 and the economy remain the most important factors for Americans deciding who to support in the November 3 election, but Supreme Court picks are also top of mind. 

New Yahoo News / YouGov Poll data shows a plurality of Americans (44%) say each candidate’s ability to handle the virus to be the most important factor in deciding who do vote for, and another 37 percent say it’s an important factor. As for the economy, about two in five Americans say it’s the most important factor (39%) or an important factor (55%). 

Before President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court bench on Saturday, most Americans see the issue as either the most important factor in their decision (35%) or at least an important factor (45%). 

For most Democrats, handling COVID-19 is the most important factor (62%), while it’s only the sixth most important issue to Republicans (24%). Addressing the economy is less of a factor to those on the left than on the right (31% among Democrats vs. 52% among Republicans). 

However, the left and right agree on the importance of the SCOTUS pick: 38 percent of Democrats say it’s the most important factor, while 40 percent of Republicans say so. 

These three issues rank higher as the most important issues among Americans than crime (28% say it’s the most important factor), climate change policies (25%), immigration (22%), race relations (22%), abortion (18%) or political correctness (11%). 

That isn’t to say these issues aren’t important to wide swaths of the population. For instance, about half (52%) say crime is an important factor and about the same amount (53%) say immigration is an important factor. In fact, most Americans view all these issues -- except political correctness -- as important factors. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Yahoo News/YouGov Poll  

Methodology: The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,284 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between September 21-23, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. The margin of error for the sample was 4.1%  

Image: Getty 

More findings regarding the Supreme Court and Ruthe Bader Ginsburg