May 25, 2005 - U.S. Voters Back Roe v. Wade 2-1, Support Filibusters, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Bush Approval At Lowest Point Ever
While American voters have mixed opinions about abortion, they support the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision 63 - 33 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Men support it 68 - 28 percent, while women support it 58 - 37 percent.

Voters divided along party lines on the use of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate "to keep unfit judges off the bench" or prevent a full vote on judicial nominees. Republicans oppose filibusters 48 - 39 percent while Democrats support their use 70 - 23 percent and independent voters back them 54 - 39 percent.

Voters nationwide approve 44 - 39 percent of the job the U.S. Supreme Court is doing, the lowest score for the court and down from a 56 - 27 percent approval in a March 5, 2003, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

As President George W. Bush makes future Supreme Court nominations, 39 percent of Americans want to maintain the present ideological balance on the court, while 29 percent want the court to be more liberal and 27 percent want it to be more conservative.

"While the filibuster fight ended in a truce, most American voters were backing the Democrats on this one," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "If this fight were really about Roe v. Wade, Quinnipiac University polls have shown a consistent 2 -1 support for this historic ruling, with more support from men."

Looking at American voter attitudes about abortion, the poll finds:
  • 18 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases;
  • 37 percent say abortion should be legal in most cases;
  • 27 percent say abortion should be illegal in most cases;
  • 14 percent say abortion should be illegal in all cases.
"On abortion, there's a silent majority. Both ends of the debate are making the noise, but 64 percent of American voters are in the middle, perhaps looking for that common ground," Carroll said.

In other attitudes about the Supreme Court, American voters say:
  • 50 - 33 percent that the next Chief Justice should be a member of the current court, rather than an outsider;
  • Support for any one justice to take the top job does not top 6 percent;
  • 65 percent haven't heard enough about Justice Antonin Scalia, the most widely quoted justice, to form an opinion;
  • A total of 79 percent say public opinion should have a "great deal" or "some" influence on Supreme Court decisions, but only 34 percent say public opinion actually has a "great deal" or "some" influence;
  • 51 - 42 percent that the Supreme Court should consider changing times in making decisions, rather than the original intent of the authors of the Constitution.
Voters also say 60 - 34 percent that a nominee to any federal judgeship should state his or her position on abortion.

"The Supreme Court doesn't listen to the people, but it should, most Americans say. And despite what the lawyers and legislators say, Americans want to know where judicial nominees stand on abortion," Carroll said. President Bush's Approval

American voters disapprove of the job President George W. Bush is doing 50 - 44 percent, his lowest approval rating since becoming President. This compares to a 48 - 45 percent disapproval in a March 9 Quinnipiac University poll.

From May 18 - 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,104 registered voters nationwide. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                        App     Dis     DK/NA
                        
May 25, 2005            44      50       6
Mar 9, 2005             45      48       7
Feb 2, 2005             48      45       7
Dec 16, 2004            47      48       5
Jul 24, 2004            46      46       8
May 26, 2004            45      50       5
May 5, 2004             46      47       7
Mar 24, 2004            49      44       7
Feb 2, 2004             48      45       7
Jan 26, 2004            53      40       8
Dec 10, 2003            51      43       6
Oct 29, 2003            51      42       7
Sep 17,2003             53      39       7
Jul 24, 2003            53      41       6
Jun 11, 2003            57      35       8
Apr 16, 2003            73      22       5
Mar 6, 2003             53      39       8
Feb 4, 2003             54      39       7
Nov 13, 2002            62      30       8
Feb 22, 2002            76      16       8
Dec 11, 2001            83      11       6




TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the United States Supreme Court is handling its job? (* All adults)

                        App    Dis    DK/NA


May 25, 2005 44 39 17 Dec 15, 2004 50 33 17 Mar 5, 2003 56 27 16 Mar 5, 2003* 56 28 17



TREND: Is your opinion of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him? (* All Adults)

                                                Hvn't
                        Fav     Unfav   Mixed   Heard   REFUSED




May 25, 2005 19 10 23 45 3 Mar 5, 2003 31 10 14 43 2 Mar 5, 2003* 30 9 14 46 1



TREND: How much influence do you think the views of the majority of Americans should have on the decisions by the Supreme Court? A great deal, some, only a little, or none at all? (* All Adults)

                        Great   Some    Little  None    DK/NA


May 25, 2005 50 29 9 11 2 Mar 5, 2003 35 39 11 14 2 Mar 5, 2003* 38 38 10 12 2



TREND: How much influence do you think the views of the majority of Americans actually have on the decisions by the Supreme Court? A great deal, some, only a little, or none at all? (* All Adults)

                        Great   Some    Little  None    DK/NA


May 25, 2005 7 27 44 20 3 Mar 5, 2003 5 29 42 21 3 Mar 5, 2003* 6 29 41 21 3



TREND: Which comes closer to your point of view? (A) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution or (B) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should consider changing times and current realities in applying the principles of the Constitution. (* All Adults)

                        (A)     (B)     DK/NA


May 25, 2005 42 51 8 Mar 5, 2003 41 53 6 Mar 5, 2003* 39 54 7



TREND: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases? (* All adults)
                       Legal    Legal    Illegal    Illegal
                       All      Most     Most       All       DK/NA


May 25, 2005 18 37 27 14 5 Mar 10, 2005 19 35 24 15 6 Dec 15, 2004 16 41 26 13 5 Jul 24, 2004 18 35 27 13 6 May 27, 2004 20 35 26 14 6 Jun 12, 2003* 21 33 24 17 6 Mar 5, 2003 23 32 23 18 4 Mar 5, 2003* 22 32 24 18 4



TREND: In general do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe versus Wade decision that established a woman's right to an abortion? (* All Adults)

                                Dis-
                        Agree   Agree   DK/NA


May 25, 2005 63 33 5 Mar 5, 2003 63 34 3 Mar 5, 2003* 62 35 3



1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 44% 83% 16% 39% 46% 43% Disapprove 50 12 80 53 48 52 DK/NA 6 5 4 8 6 6



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the United States Supreme Court is handling its job?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 44% 56% 39% 41% 46% 43% Disapprove 39 31 43 41 40 37 DK/NA 17 13 19 18 13 20



3. Is your opinion of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 19% 29% 16% 16% 25% 15% Unfavorable 10 7 16 8 11 9 Mixed 23 17 25 27 25 20 Hvn't hrd enough 45 45 43 46 36 53 REFUSED 3 3 1 3 2 3



4. President Bush may have the opportunity to make several nominations to the Supreme Court. Would you like to see him make the court more conservative, more liberal, or keep the present balance?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More conservative 27% 48% 10% 25% 27% 26% More liberal 29 7 51 25 26 32 Keep present balance 39 41 34 44 43 35 DK/NA 5 4 5 6 4 7



5. If Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist retires and President Bush has to pick a new chief justice, should the new chief justice be a member of the current court or should President Bush go outside and pick someone else to be chief justice?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Member of court 50% 52% 52% 49% 51% 49% Outside court 33 27 34 37 34 33 DK/NA 17 21 14 13 15 18



6. If President Bush were to pick a chief justice from the current Supreme Court to replace Rehnquist, who would you pick or don't you have a preference?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Breyer 1% - 1% 1% 1% - Ginsburg 1 - 2 1 1 1 Kennedy 1 - 2 1 1 1 O'Connor 6 4 9 5 6 6 Scalia 3 4 - 4 4 1 Souter 1 - 1 1 1 - Stevens - - - - - - Thomas 2 5 - 2 4 1 No preference 85 85 84 85 80 89 REFUSED 1 2 1 1 1 1



7. Thinking about the current members of the Supreme Court, do you think Justice Antonin Scalia would or would not make a good Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Good Chief Justice 14% 21% 9% 15% 20% 10% Not good 17 8 26 17 22 13 Hvn't hrd enough 65 66 63 65 55 74 DK/NA 3 5 2 3 3 3



8. How much influence do you think the views of the majority of Americans should have on the decisions by the Supreme Court? A great deal, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Great deal 50% 47% 51% 52% 47% 52% Some 29 32 28 25 27 30 Only a little 9 8 9 11 10 9 None at all 11 12 10 11 14 8 DK/NA 2 2 2 - 2 2



9. How much influence do you think the views of the majority of Americans actually have on the decisions by the Supreme Court? A great deal, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Great deal 7% 4% 7% 7% 7% 6% Some 27 31 27 24 26 28 Only a little 44 44 45 46 46 43 None at all 20 17 19 21 19 20 DK/NA 3 4 2 2 2 4



10. Which comes closer to your point of view: A) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution. or B) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should consider changing times and current realities in applying the principles of the Constitution.

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A) Original intentions 42% 54% 31% 42% 46% 38% B) Changing times 51 37 62 52 49 52 DK/NA 8 9 7 6 5 10



11. Are the judges President Bush has nominated to the federal courts more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More conservative 31% 11% 49% 31% 34% 28% Not cons. enough 15 11 15 17 13 16 About right 40 68 22 37 43 38 DK/NA 14 11 15 15 11 17



12. As you may know, a filibuster can be used to prevent a vote on judicial nominations in the Senate. Which comes closer to your point of view? A) The filibuster should be used to keep unfit judges off the bench. or B) The filibuster should not be used, because nominees deserve a vote by the full Senate.

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A) Should be used 55% 39% 70% 54% 55% 55% B) Should not be used 36 48 23 39 38 34 DK/NA 9 14 7 7 7 11



13. Do you think a judge nominated to the federal courts should or should not publicly state his or her position on abortion?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Should 60% 61% 60% 58% 56% 63% Should not 34 34 35 35 38 31 DK/NA 6 5 5 7 6 6



14. Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Legal all 18% 8% 23% 19% 15% 20% Legal most 37 28 41 41 41 33 Illegal most 27 40 20 25 30 26 Illegal all 14 21 9 11 11 15 DK/NA 5 3 8 3 3 6



15. In general, do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree 63% 44% 76% 68% 68% 58% Disagree 33 51 20 29 28 37 DK/NA 5 5 4 4 4 5