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Majority back Kagan confirmation as interest wanes

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote to send Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court to the full Senate later today, and a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the U.S. Solicitor General continues to garner majority public support in her bid to become the fourth woman to sit on the high court.

Other recent polling on the nomination also finds that more favor Kagan's confirmation than oppose it, but the results across polls suggest fairly widespread inattention toward the nomination fight as her confirmation hearings closed and her bid heads for a final vote.

In the Post-ABC poll, 53 percent say the Senate should vote to confirm Kagan's nomination. One-quarter say the Senate should vote against her, while one in five express no opinion.

Support for Kagan's bid has dipped five points since an early-June Post-ABC poll, while at the same time, the percentage with no opinion on her nomination is up four points. The no opinion share is double the proportion expressing such as Sonia Sotomayor's hearings were getting underway last summer, but about on par with views on Samuel A. Alito and John G. Roberts prior to their public testimony.

A Gallup survey released last week on Kagan's bid found 44 percent saying she should be confirmed, 34 percent said she should not and 22 percent had no opinion. In the Gallup data, that is a higher "no opinion" figure than for any nominee since Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A CBS News poll conducted July 9-12 found about four in 10 paying close attention to Kagan's appointment, about on par with the level closely following her confirmation hearings a week earlier according to a Pew Research Center News Interest Index survey. But in the CBS poll conducted after her hearings ended, the share following "very" closely stood at just 8 percent - half the level in the Pew poll. When the CBS poll more explicitly provided an opportunity to decline to express a view on whether Kagan should be confirmed, six in 10 said they "can't say" or don't know whether the Senate should approve her nomination.

In the Post poll, support for Kagan's nomination hits 50 percent or better across gender, age and regional lines. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats support the nomination (72 percent) as do more than half of independents (53 percent). Among Republicans, support is at a slim 29 percent, with a broad gap between conservative Republicans (22 percent support) and more liberal or moderate Republicans (45 percent).

The increase in overall "no opinion" responses is centered among Democrats (from 11 percent in June to 19 percent now), particularly among liberal Democrats (9 percent to 25 percent). In the June poll, 62 percent of Democrats said Kagan should answer questions during her confirmation hearing about how she would have ruled on past cases that have come before the court, something Kagan sought to avoid during the hearings.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  July 20, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
44 The Obama Presidency , Post Polls , Supreme Court  
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Can we dddrrrraaaaaagggggggg this confirmation out any longer. Seriously! I am so tired of this stuff. I wish we could just get on with it, especially because Kagan is perfect for the court. She is in line with what the constitution calls for, she should be a shoe-in basically. The one question I have is about her skirt suits, check THAT story

Posted by: republicanblack | July 20, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Wake up folks...
No one would be perfect given the animosity of both parties. She will do what she will do and that is the end of it. She is human which means she will have preconceived ideas and she will have the same agenda that all bring with them to the position.
We have survived every Supreme Court Justice and she hopefully will do a great job at a thankless task.
Rather than pick out possible problems wouldnt it be nice to look at the upside to her nomination!''

Posted by: loudubin | July 20, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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