Dem pollster says concerns over Kavanaugh were 'merit-based,' not about partisanship

Democratic pollster Pia Nargundkar said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking" that concerns about sexual misconduct accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump urged to hire chief strategist for impeachment fight Anita Hill: Kavanaugh's confirmation filled me with 'profound sadness and disappointment' Majority disapprove of Trump Supreme Court nominations, says poll MORE were not rooted in partisanship but were "merit-based." 

"They were merit-based, Nargundkar said of the concerns expressed by Democratic senators. "They were about his character and his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. Those weren't partisan issues."

Nargundkar, a senior associate at ALG Research, was responding to a comment from Republican pollster Brett Loyd, who said on Hill.TV that no one questions Kavanaugh's professional background. 

Democrats and Republicans publicly sparred over numerous sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh dating back to his high school years, during his confirmation hearing. 

Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, gave stirring testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee before Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed mostly along party lines.

Kavanaugh said during his testimony on the matter that the opposition against him was a political hit job, blaming the Clinton family. 

"I would say that it was Justice Kavanaugh who first brought partisanship into it when he made that statement," she said.

The contentious confirmation process was a sign for various political observers that the Supreme Court was an increasingly partisan institution. 

A recent Harvard CAPS/Harris survey found that 66 percent of Americans believe that federal judges rule on the basis of political influence, while 34 percent said they believed they ruled on the basis of law. 

— Julia Manchester