July 27, 2005 - Supreme Court Nominee Should Speak Up On Abortion, U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; Bush Approval Drops To New Low
By a 61 - 32 percent margin, American voters say U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts should publicly state his position on abortion, but voters are divided on whether the Senate should refuse to confirm Roberts if he doesn't speak up, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. While 43 percent say the Senate would be justified in voting against Roberts if he doesn't explain his position, 47 percent say the Senate would not be justified.

American voters approve 44 - 27 percent, with 29 percent undecided, of President George W. Bush's nomination of Roberts.

American voters support the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v Wade decision 65 - 30 percent, the highest level of support in two years of national polls by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

A total of 83 percent of voters say "the views of the majority of Americans" should have a "great deal" or "some" influence on the Senate confirmation process. But only 35 percent of voters believe that majority views actually have any influence.

"Don't ask; don't tell? It don't work in this case. Voters to Roberts: We want to know where you stand on Roe v Wade. Voters to the Senate: You should listen to us when voting on Roberts, but you probably won't," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Looking at American voter attitudes about abortion, the poll finds:
  • 20 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases;
  • 37 percent say abortion should be legal in most cases;
  • 24 percent say abortion should be illegal in most cases;
  • 12 percent say abortion should be illegal in all cases.
While these findings represent a slight shift in favor of abortion, voters continue to have notable exceptions:
  • 70 - 24 percent in favor of a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion;
  • 74 - 21 percent in favor of parental notification before a minor can get an abortion;
  • 76 - 15 percent against late-term or partial birth abortion except to save the life of the mother.
"If the judges listen to the people, they'll stick with Roe v Wade but support the three limitations that are talked about - parental notification, a waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion," Carroll said.

"It's a clich‚ in the polling business: Even though only people from the ends of the spectrum get the attention, Americans always poll in the middle on abortion."

President Bush's Approval

American voters disapprove of the job President George W. Bush is doing 53 - 41 percent, his lowest approval rating since becoming President. This compares to a 50 - 44 percent disapproval in a May 25 Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters disapprove 60 - 30 percent of the way Congress is doing its job and approve 50 - 39 percent of the way the Supreme Court is doing its job.

"The judges outscore the President and Congress on job performance," Carroll said.

From July 21 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 920 registered voters nationwide. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 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

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 41% 79% 17% 36% 46% 36% Disapprove 53 14 79 58 49 56 DK/NA 6 7 5 6 5 7

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                        Highest Lowest
                                                        Approve Approve
                        Jul 27  May 25  Mar 9   Feb 2   Dec 11  Jul 27
                        2005    2005    2005    2005    2001    2005


Approve 41 44 45 48 83 41 Disapprove 53 50 48 45 11 53 DK/NA 6 6 7 7 6 6



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 30% 45% 20% 31% 30% 31% Disapprove 60 43 70 63 64 56 DK/NA 10 12 10 6 6 13



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 50% 55% 48% 50% 52% 48% Disapprove 39 35 38 41 41 37 DK/NA 11 10 14 8 7 15



5. Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 44% 75% 22% 42% 47% 42% Disapprove 27 7 45 26 26 27 DK/NA 29 17 33 32 27 31



6. Do you think John Roberts would make the court more conservative, more liberal, or keep the present balance?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More conservative 40% 39% 44% 39% 45% 37% More liberal 5 5 5 4 4 5 Keep present balance 29 35 24 27 29 28 DK/NA 26 20 26 30 22 30



7. Would you say that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More conservative 29% 9% 46% 31% 27% 30% Not enough 8 6 9 8 10 6 About right 41 69 22 39 41 41 DK/NA 22 16 23 22 21 23



8. 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. 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 intent 44% 55% 34% 48% 50% 38% B) Changing times 50 37 61 49 43 56 DK/NA 6 8 5 3 6 6



9. As you may know, a Supreme Court nominee needs to be confirmed by the Senate. How much influence do you think the views of the majority of Americans should have on the decision by the Senate on whether to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court? A great deal, some, only a little, or none at all?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Great deal 53% 43% 58% 55% 51% 55% Some 30 35 33 26 27 33 Only a little 7 10 4 7 10 4 None at all 7 10 3 8 11 4 DK/NA 2 1 3 4 2 3



10. How much influence do you think the views of the majority of Americans actually have on the decision by the Senate on whether to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court? A great deal, some, only a little or none at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Great deal 6% 7% 4% 6% 6% 6% Some 29 33 29 26 30 27 Only a little 41 42 39 44 40 42 None at all 21 16 24 20 20 22 DK/NA 4 3 4 4 4 4



11. Should Senators support or oppose John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court based only on whether he is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider his views on controversial issues like abortion and the death penalty?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Qualifications 36% 52% 21% 42% 46% 28% Views on issues 56 43 74 46 48 63 DK/NA 8 6 5 11 6 9



12. Do you think Supreme Court nominee John Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Should 61% 48% 76% 59% 56% 66% Should not 32 45 19 35 38 27 DK/NA 7 7 5 6 7 7



13. Do you think United States Senators would be justified or not justified in voting against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts if he refuses to state his position on abortion?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Justified 43% 27% 61% 39% 40% 46% Not justified 47 66 27 53 52 43 DK/NA 10 7 13 8 8 12



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 20% 9% 25% 22% 16% 22% Legal most 37 29 46 35 40 35 Illegal most 24 37 16 24 23 24 Illegal all 12 18 8 8 12 13 DK/NA 7 7 5 10 9 6

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)

                        Jul 27  May 25  Mar 10  Dec 15  Jul 24  May 27  Jun 12
                        2005    2005    2005    2004    2004    2004    2003*


Legal all 20 18 19 16 18 20 21 Legal most 37 37 35 41 35 35 33 Illegal most 24 27 24 26 27 26 24 Illegal all 12 14 15 13 13 14 17 DK/NA 7 5 6 5 6 6 6



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree 65% 42% 79% 71% 63% 66% Disagree 30 54 15 23 30 29 DK/NA 6 4 6 6 6 5

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

                        Jul 27  May 25  Mar 5
                        2005    2005    2003


Agree 65 63 63 Disagree 30 33 34 DK/NA 6 5 3



16. Do you favor or oppose a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion before the abortion could take place?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 70% 71% 70% 69% 64% 74% Oppose 24 22 25 25 28 21 DK/NA 6 7 5 6 8 5



17. Do you favor or oppose requiring parental notification before a minor could get an abortion?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 74% 85% 70% 69% 76% 72% Oppose 21 12 26 23 16 25 DK/NA 5 3 4 8 8 3



18. Do you think that a specific abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion should be legal or should it be illegal except when necessary to save the life of the mother?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Legal 15% 9% 17% 17% 17% 13% Illegal 76 85 73 73 74 77 DK/NA 10 6 10 11 10 10