Most voters believe Kavanaugh will be voted into Supreme Court: poll

Most voters believe Kavanaugh will be voted into Supreme Court: poll

The majority of U.S. voters believe Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate, though they are sharply split in their views about the nominee, a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll showed on Thursday. 

The poll, released exclusively to The Hill, showed 81 percent believe the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge nominated to the country's highest court by president Trump will ascend to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has announced he would retire this summer.

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Of those voters, 27 percent believed Kavanaugh's ascension would be "very likely," while 54 percent said it would be "somewhat" likely. 

But views on Kavanaugh are sharply split, with 36 percent of U.S. voters supporting the nominee at least somewhat, and 35 percent opposing him at least somewhat.

Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, said that split broke largely along partisan lines.  

"Reaction to him so far is largely along partisan lines, indicating his hearings will be decisive and there is still a jump ball here," Penn said. 

Kavanaugh's nomination – Trump's second since taking office last year – has set up a fight in the Senate over how quickly lawmakers should move to vote on the judge.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMurkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify McConnell rips Democrats for handling of Kavanaugh nomination Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow MORE (R-Kent.) has vowed to hold a vote on Trump's pick early this fall ahead of the November midterm elections.

But Senate Democratic leaders have rejected that call, arguing the chamber should wait until after the midterms to decide on Kavanaugh's nomination, the same way Republicans blocked president Obama's nomination of Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandKavanaugh understands a good judge is an umpire — not a diva Budowsky: If Dems win control of Congress Chuck Grassley is the point man in our judiciary remake MORE before the 2016 presidential elections.

Among voters, 31 percent said they were more inclined to think the Senate should hold a vote next year, while 25 percent were more inclined to say that a vote should be held this year. Thirty-two percent saw no impact either way.

If the 53-year old Kavanaugh is confirmed, it would install a reliable conservative on the Supreme Court for what is likely to be decades to come. Kennedy was often considered a swing vote.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,323 registered voters was conducted July 24-25. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 2 percent other.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard/Harris Poll throughout 2018.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.