Poll: Most voters unlikely to change support in key Senate races based on Kavanaugh proceedings

Poll: Most voters unlikely to change support in key Senate races based on Kavanaugh proceedings
© Pool

The fight surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination in recent months has made voters more motivated to vote next month in a handful of key Senate races, a new poll found, but those individuals are unlikely to change their vote based on his confirmation.

A CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday surveyed voters in New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Tennessee. In each state, more than 50 percent of registered voters surveyed said that they are more motivated to get out and vote as a result of the Kavanaugh proceedings.

However, the result of the process is unlikely to have much sway in who those voters support in November, pollsters found. The polling was conducted Oct. 2-5, meaning it concluded one day before Kavanaugh was confirmed.


In New Jersey, 56 percent of those surveyed said their vote would not change if Kavanaugh were confirmed, while 63 percent said it wouldn't change if Kavanaugh were rejected. Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThis week: Senate starts infrastructure sprint Lobbying world This week: Congress starts summer sprint MORE (D) holds a 49 to 39 percent lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin in that race, according to the poll.

Among Texas voters, 55 percent said their vote would be unchanged if Kavanaugh were confirmed, and 63 percent said the same about Kavanaugh potentially being left off the Supreme Court. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Senate panel votes to scrap Iraq war authorizations | Police officer fatally stabbed outside Pentagon ID'd | Biden admin approves first Taiwan arms sale Senate panel votes to repeal Iraq war authorizations America's pandemic of COVID hypocrisy MORE (R-Texas) leads Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke mum on run for Texas governor Beto O'Rourke, Willie Nelson financially back Texas Democrats in elections bill fight Texans split on whether Abbott deserves reelection: poll MORE (D-Texas) in that race, 50 to 44 percent, mirroring most polling that has shown the incumbent with a steady lead.

In Tennessee, where Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnHillicon Valley: Senators highlight security threats from China during rare public hearing | Facebook suspends accounts of NYU researchers who've criticized platform Senators press Zuckerberg over Facebook's impact on youth mental health New hurdle slows trillion infrastructure bill MORE (R) and former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) are vying to replace retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R), 59 percent of voters said they would not change their vote had Kavanaugh been confirmed. Sixty-three percent of voters said they would not have altered their vote had the judge not been confirmed.

Blackburn has an 8-point lead over Bredesen, according to the poll, 50 to 42 percent.

In Arizona, 57 percent of voters said their vote would be the same if Kavanaugh were confirmed, and 58 percent said their vote would stay consistent even if the Senate rejected his nomination.

Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) holds a 3-point edge over Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallySchumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ariz.) in the race for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.), though the difference falls within the poll's margin of error.

The margins of error in the CBS poll are 3.9 points in Texas, 3.6 in New Jersey, 3.5 in Arizona and 3.4 in Tennessee. Roughly 1,000 voters were surveyed in each state, except for New Jersey, which had 704 respondents.

The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on Saturday afternoon in a 50-48 vote, with one GOP senator absent and another voting "present." Every Democrat opposed Kavanaugh's nomination except for Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate rejects GOP effort to add Trump border wall to bipartisan infrastructure deal Youth organizations call on Biden to ensure 'bold' climate investments Democrats barrel toward August voting rights deadline MORE (D-W.Va.).

The bitter fight over Kavanaugh’s confirmation came after multiple women accused the judge of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified late last month over allegations that he sexually assaulted her during a party in the 1980s. 

A supplemental FBI background investigation found no corroboration of the claims, Republicans said, while Democrats argued that the review of the allegations was too brief and failed to interview key witnesses.