Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sotomayor

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A new Quinnipiac poll finds that a majority of Americans approve of President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor.

With Obama's Supreme Court Justice pick still pending approval by the Senate, the national survey found that 54 percent support the pick and 24 percent disapprove, with 22 percent undecided. The poll surveyed 1, 438 registered voters nationwide.

The poll finds stark differences of opinion based on political party affiliations. Over 80 percent of Democrats approved of Sotomayor while the Republican approval rate was 46 percent. Fifty percent of independents also approved.

The Quinnipiac Poll also asked whether Mr. Obama's nomination was influenced by Sotomayor's ethnicity and whether that should be a deciding factor over legal qualifications. The poll found that Americans seem to believe that nationality played a rather important role in Mr. Obama's decision, with 34 percent deeming it as "very important" and 36 percent calling it "somewhat important."

As for agreeing with such influences, 60 percent of participants think that legal qualifications should be considered above diversity when deciding on a Supreme Court justice. Eight percent said diversity was more important, and 29 percent said both were equally important.

As for her views, Quinnipiac assistant director Peter Brown said voters are split, according to the release.

"Voters are split about whether senators debating Sotomayor's confirmation should consider her views on issues. A plurality, 42 percent, thinks her views are about right while 30 percent think she's more liberal than they would like and 5 percent think she's not liberal enough," he said.

Before Mr. Obama announced his pick, a CBS News poll on May 13 asked Americans whether they would approve of Mr. Obama's pick for a Supreme Court Justice, and the results were similar to the results of the Quinnipiac poll taken afterwards. Fifty-five percent of Americans in the poll said they were confident in his appointment; however, they still revealed large differences along party lines. While over 80 percent of Democrats felt confident in Obama's choice, 60 percent of Republicans felt uneasy about the same decision.

You can read more of the Quinnipiac poll results here.
  • Anna Aulova

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