Poll: Nearly 8 in 10 think GOP is 'playing politics' on Supreme Court

Haiyun Jiang
More than three-fourths of Americans say Senate Republicans are "playing politics" by refusing to take up President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, according to a Monmouth University Poll released Monday. 
 
Overall, 77 percent of Americans say they think Republicans are "playing politics" by not allowing nominee Merrick Garland to get a hearing. That total includes 62 percent of surveyed Republicans.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Senate Republicans say filling the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat should be left to the next president so that voters have a say in the process.
 
"We think the important principle in the middle of this presidential election which is raging, is that the American people need to weigh in and decide who's going to make this decision, not this lame-duck president on the way out the door, but the next president, next year," Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) told Fox News Sunday. 
 
But only 16 percent of voters in the Monmouth University Poll said they believe that argument.
 
At 28 percent, self-identified Republicans were more likely to say that lawmakers were trying to include Americans in the process, compared to 13 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats. 
 
While a handful of Republican senators have said they are willing to meet with Garland, the GOP has held firm on denying Garland a hearing or vote.
 
Now that Obama has nominated Garland, 69 percent overall said the Senate should give him a hearing, including 56 percent of Republicans. 
 
That's an increase from a Morning Consult poll released last week, which found that less than half — 43 percent — of GOP voters thought Garland should get a hearing. 
 
Nearly two-thirds told Monmouth that they didn't know enough about Garland to know his political ideology, and nearly half hadn't heard enough about him to weigh in on if he was qualified to be on the Supreme Court. 
 
Generally, 53 percent of Americans also said they believe the president should nominate someone to fill a vacancy, and the Senate should take up the nomination, even if they occur at the end of a president's term. 
 
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted March 17–20, with 1,008 adults and a margin of error of 3.1 percent. 

More in Senate

Top GOP senator: 'Candid' talk with Trump

Read more »