More Democrats than Republicans say Supreme Court key to 2020 vote

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Democratic voters are slightly more likely than their Republican counterparts to view the Supreme Court as “very important” in guiding their choice for president in the 2020 election, according to a new poll.

Following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent disclosure of a recurrence of liver cancer, 57 percent of registered Democratic respondents now say the court will loom large at the ballot box in November, a 9-point increase since May, according to Morning Consult-Politico pollsters

In addition to growing concerns over the health of the court’s aging liberal bloc, the Supreme Court in the past two months issued blockbuster rulings, decided by razor-thin 5-4 margins. Those decisions struck down a Louisiana abortion restriction and blocked the Trump administration from ending an Obama-era deportation shield for young immigrants.

Other close rulings were handed down in recent months, including a split decision over access to President Trump’s tax returns and a ruling to extend federal anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people in the workplace. 

While the recent developments appear to have increased Democrats’ focus on the court, the share of Republican voters who view the Supreme Court as “very important” has remained unchanged at 53 percent since the spring.

The contrasting emphasis on the Supreme Court is even more stark when comparing voters who cast ballots for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Trump in 2016. Among Clinton voters, 61 percent say the court is very important in 2020, compared with 53 percent of Trump voters.

A slight majority of all voters, 52 percent, say the Supreme Court will be critical in November, though a larger share of voters prioritize other issues such as the economy, health care and the coronavirus pandemic.

The online poll was conducted from July 31 to Aug 2 among 1,991 registered voters. The full sample has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton presidential election Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court

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