Should Obama Pick Nominee? Your Answer May Depend on How Much History You Know

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tags: Scalia, SCOTUS



The Senate is preparing for a no-holds-barred battle over whether it should even consider President Obama’s choice to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Not surprisingly, Americans are divided by political party about whether Mr. Obama should be the one to nominate the replacement, a new online poll shows. But there is also a fascinating wrinkle.

The more people are told about the history of Supreme Court nominations, the more they tend to agree that the Senate should consider the president’s nomination, not delay it....[W]e asked Morning Consult to add a small number of questions to the survey, about whether respondents’ views would change if they knew more information, like the average number of days from the time of nomination to a vote on a successor (25), the longest number of days for that process in a nominee’s confirmation (125) and the length of Mr. Obama’s remaining term in office (340).

When given more historical context, respondents were more likely to say the justice should be nominated this year. This new information persuaded Democrats most and independents somewhat less so. But it does suggest a little history may be a persuasive tool for Democrats in the nomination battle to come.




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