December 7, 2005 - Americans Mixed On Supreme Court Nominee Alito, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Most Say He Should State Position On Abortion
By a 41 - 27 percent margin, with 33 percent undecided, American voters approve of President George W. Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

Republicans support the nomination 68 - 5 percent, while Democrats oppose it 45 - 20 percent and independent voters approve 40 - 28 percent.

American voters say 55 - 35 percent that Alito should publicly state his position on abortion, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. But voters say 47 - 42 percent that U.S. Senators would not be justified voting against Alito's confirmation if he refuses to state his position.

In other Supreme Court questions, American voters say:
  • They approve 50 - 32 percent of the job the Court is doing, compared to a 54 - 40 percent disapproval for President Bush and a 61 - 27 percent disapproval for the U.S. Congress;
  • 51 - 36 percent that the U.S. Senate should consider Alito's views on controversial issues, not just his qualifications when deciding whether to confirm him;
  • 42 - 35 percent that the use of a Senate filibuster to block Alito's nomination would not be justified.
"Judge Alito gets pretty much the same response that Judge Roberts got: Republicans like him; Democrats don't," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Ditto for the using a filibuster against him: Democrats approve; Republicans don't," Carroll added.

"Voters think Alito's views on controversial issues - not just his qualifications - are fair game. And, as they did with Roberts, they disagree with lawyers who say he shouldn't be questioned about his stand on abortion."

American voters agree 63 - 32 percent with the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. Support is strong among men and women, black, white and Hispanic voters and Democrats and independent voters. Republicans oppose Roe v. Wade 51 - 44 percent.

The breakdown of voter opinion on abortion is:
  • 19 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases;
  • 38 percent say legal in most cases;
  • 25 percent say illegal in most cases;
  • 14 percent say illegal in all cases.
"Two-to-one, voters approve Roe v. Wade. The ends of the spectrum - abortion on demand or a complete ban - draw support in the teens. Most voters are in the middle. They support the right to abortion with some restrictions," Carroll said.

From November 28 - December 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,230 registered voters nationwide. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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

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

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


Approve 50% 57% 39% 57% 54% 47% 53% 30% 46% Disapprove 32 28 39 29 32 33 29 53 38 DK/NA 17 15 22 14 14 20 18 17 16

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Approve 58% 51% 50% 41% Disapprove 28 33 34 33 DK/NA 14 16 15 26

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

                        Dec 7   Jul 27  May 25  Dec 15  Mar 5
                        2005    2005    2005    2004    2003


Approve 50 50 44 50 56 Disapprove 32 39 39 33 27 DK/NA 17 11 17 17 16



27. Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


Approve 41% 68% 20% 40% 43% 38% 43% 22% 47% Disapprove 27 5 45 28 27 27 23 49 21 DK/NA 33 27 36 32 30 35 34 29 31

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Approve 44% 37% 38% 47% Disapprove 32 28 29 14 DK/NA 24 35 32 39

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito (John Roberts) to the Supreme Court?

                        Dec 7   Jul 27
                        2005    2005
                        Alito   Roberts


Approve 41 44 Disapprove 27 27 DK/NA 33 29



28. Would you say that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


More conservative 26% 6% 42% 29% 27% 25% 26% 27% 24% Not consrv enough 8 5 12 8 6 10 6 22 10 About right 39 63 23 35 40 38 41 27 37 DK/NA 27 26 23 27 26 27 27 25 29

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

More conservative 25% 29% 28% 19% Not consrv enough 16 5 9 5 About right 36 40 37 44 DK/NA 23 26 26 32

TREND: Would you say that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito (John Roberts) is more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right?

                        Dec 7   Jul 27
                        2005    2005
                        Alito   Roberts


More conservative 26 29 Not consrv enough 8 8 About right 39 41 DK/NA 27 22



29. Should Senators support or oppose Samuel Alito's 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   Wht   Blk   His


Qualifications only 36% 55% 20% 38% 38% 35% 37% 29% 38% Should consider views 51 35 65 50 47 54 50 56 47 DK/NA 13 10 15 12 15 11 13 16 15

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Qualifications only 32% 36% 38% 39% Should consider views 62 51 50 42 DK/NA 6 14 12 19

TREND: Should Senators support or oppose Samuel Alito's (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?

                        Dec 7   Jul 27
                        2005    2005
                        Alito   Roberts


Qualifications only 36 36 Should consider views 51 56 DK/NA 13 8



30. Do you think United States Senators would be justified, or not justified in using the filibuster to prevent Samuel Alito's nomination from coming to a vote?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


Justified 35% 15% 50% 39% 36% 34% 34% 38% 33% Not justified 42 61 25 42 44 39 43 38 38 DK/NA 23 24 25 19 20 27 23 25 30

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Justified 44% 38% 34% 24% Not justified 34 35 45 52 DK/NA 22 27 20 24



31. Do you think that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito should or should not publicly state his position on abortion?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


Should state position 55% 42% 66% 55% 54% 56% 53% 59% 55% Should not 35 48 24 36 37 34 36 34 35 DK/NA 10 10 10 9 10 10 11 7 11

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Should state position 61% 55% 56% 47% Should not 35 32 36 38 DK/NA 5 13 8 14



TREND: Do you think Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito (John Roberts) should or should not publicly state his position on abortion?

                        Dec 7   Jul 27
                        2005    2005
                        Alito   Roberts


Should state position 55 61 Should not 35 32 DK/NA 10 7



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

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


Justified 42% 27% 57% 42% 42% 42% 41% 46% 40% Not justified 47 65 32 46 46 47 47 44 46 DK/NA 12 8 11 12 12 11 12 11 14

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Justified 39% 47% 46% 32% Not justified 53 42 44 52 DK/NA 8 12 10 16



TREND: Do you think United States Senators would be justified or not justified in voting against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito (John Roberts) if he refuses to state his position on abortion?

                        Dec 7   Jul 27
                        2005    2005
                        Alito   Roberts


Justified 42 43 Not justified 47 47 DK/NA 12 10



33. 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   Wht   Blk   His


Legal all cases 19% 10% 27% 20% 16% 21% 17% 27% 23% Legal most cases 38 27 41 44 40 36 37 36 41 Illegal most cases 25 38 18 21 28 22 27 19 22 Illegal all cases 14 22 11 10 12 17 15 14 12 DK/NA 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 3 2

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Legal all cases 21% 21% 19% 13% Legal most cases 42 39 38 32 Illegal most cases 22 26 23 31 Illegal all cases 15 10 14 19 DK/NA 1 4 6 5

TREND: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?

                        Dec 7  Jul 27  May 25  Mar 10  Dec 15  Jul 24  May 27
                        2005   2005    2005    2005    2004    2004    2004  


Legal all cases 19 20 18 19 16 18 20 Legal most cases 38 37 37 35 41 35 35 Illegal most cases 25 24 27 24 26 27 26 Illegal all cases 14 12 14 15 13 13 14 DK/NA 4 7 5 6 5 6 6



34. 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   Wht   Blk   His


Agree 63% 44% 74% 71% 61% 64% 60% 72% 62% Disagree 32 51 20 25 32 31 34 23 33 DK/NA 5 5 6 4 7 4 5 6 5

AGE IN YEARS.......... 18-29 30-44 45-64 65+

Agree 68% 63% 65% 53% Disagree 31 31 29 40 DK/NA 1 5 6 8



TREND: 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?

                        Dec 7   Jul 27  May 25  Mar 5
                        2005    2005    2005    2003


Agree 63 65 63 63 Disagree 32 30 33 34 DK/NA 5 6 5 3