Support for court packing falls to one-third among Democrats

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
October 13, 2020, 2:24 PM UTC

Americans have little appetite to reform the Supreme Court by “packing” it, according to a new Yahoo/YouGov poll. Only one in five (21%) registered voters favor increasing the number of Supreme Court justices with more than twice (46%) that saying they oppose such a proposal.

Opposition to increasing the number of justices grew by seven points since Sep. 21-23 (from 39% to 46%), while support for the proposal dropped 11 points (from 32% to 21%).

Notably, support for the proposal among Democrats dropped 13 points this week (from 48% to 35%). Similarly, Independents are now 14 points less likely to favor increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court. What little support among Republicans there was has also fallen, from 20% to just 11%.
On a separate proposal to expand the courts so that five justices are affiliated with Republicans, five are affiliated with Democrats, and five are apolitical and appointed by the other 10 justices, the public are also opposed. Data from Yahoo/YouGov’s latest poll shows 40% now say it is a bad idea and only 29% say it is a good idea, a shift from a 35/35 split on Sep. 21-23.

Democrats have become increasingly unsure of the merits of the proposal. The share who say it is a good idea has dropped by seven points from 48% to 41%, while a greater number of Democrats now say they are not sure what to make of the idea (from 33% to 37%).

Republican support for the idea has also fallen seven points – from 24% to 17%. Most GOP voters oppose the measure, at 60%, a figure which is up six points from the previous poll.  Support among Independents is largely unchanged (30% to 28%) although a greater number now say it is a bad idea (up six points to 41%).

See the full toplines and crosstabs from the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll

Methodology: This Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,505 US registered voters interviewed online from October 9-11, 2020. The 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 registered voters. The margin of error is 4.3%.

Image: Getty