May 28th, 2009
06:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: 47 percent give Sotomayor high marks

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A poll conducted immediately after President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court suggests that nearly half of Americans have a favorable opinion of the president's choice.

Forty-seven percent of those questioned in the Gallup survey, which was released Thursday, say they rate Sotomayor as an excellent or good choice for the high court, with one in three respondents saying she is a fair or poor nominee. One in five people questioned had no opinion.

"People may have an image of Judge Sotomayor - Latina, modest origins, impressive achievements. But they don't know much about her views or her personality. Those will have to be filled in," CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said.

The 47 percent in the Gallup poll who rate Sotomayor an excellent pick is slighly higher than the 43 percent who suggested they felt the same way about Samuel Alito immediately after he was nominated by President George W. Bush to the high court in November 2005. But it's slightly lower than the 51 percent who indicated they thought John Roberts was an excellent or good pick right after he was nominated by Bush in July 2005.

The Gallup poll was conducted on May 26, with 1,015 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN Polls
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Cynthia; Bham

    As long as Republicans like Limbaugh, Buchanan and Newt G. speak out her numbers will continue to be high. They have all had their day in the sun and need to ride off into the sunset. It's a good thing for Democrats if they keep speaking out.

    May 28, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    And as this process continues she will get higher marks.

    If the Republicans somehow get her un-nominated, the "minority backlash" against the GOP will be devastating! White men run for your lives!

    Latinos, women, Catholics, persons of foreign origin, lesbians, gays, and most of the rest of our neighborhoods...well except The Hamptons.

    May 28, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Enough

    To make a statement after interviewing 1015 adults is hardly close to accurate. Pretty tired of hearing results of worthless polls. Waiting for the poll that asks how happy the country is with all the wasteful spending going on!!

    May 28, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Scott Stodden

    I think Sonia Sotomayor was the perfect choice that President Obama could have made, Im so happy for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She brings to the highest court in the nation class, intelligence, & experience. She will also be a force to be recokend in the Supreme Court, she will take the high court to places its never seen before. Im not supportive because she is Latina but because she is the most experienced.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Il)

    May 28, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. YBM

    Shows there are 47% of americans that still are not thinking/listening. this country is going by way of the roman empire real quick.

    May 28, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    I guess RACISM is in fashion again.

    May 28, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Dennis in VA

    Half the country is stupid.

    May 28, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. Terry

    Almost all of us who read or write to this blog are not qualified to assess this judge's background or experience. We don't know the details and we don't understand the issues that her decisions were based on. We have to trust the administration and the Senate to do the right thing.

    The Conservatives, of course, are opposed to her. They are cautious, trying to find an issue: a poorly worded phrase, a light hearted comment, or a gay relative of Sotomayor's that they can pounce on. Their opposition speeches were written a month before they knew who Obama would nominate; there was a blank inserted in the speech where they could fill in the nominee's name. They do not want to appear racist, and many of them are not racist. They are simply opposed to anyone but themselves.

    Conservatives must destroy this administration, no matter how many Americans suffer as a consequence. They will oppose, obstruct, criticize, stall, prevent, delay, obfuscate, exaggerate, confuse, and fabricate. They will say, "I'm not saying that she is a socialist; I'm just saying that Americans deserve to know whether she is."

    May 28, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Brandon V in DFW

    This is crazy. If people did their own research and stop getting their facts from the lame, same old tired media people would see this woman is brilliant.

    I am stunned that people like Rush and Rove have gone as far as they have against her.

    Rove may know some stupid people who went to Ivy League schools, including himself, but I doubt he knows anyone who is stupid that graduated 1st or 2nd from an Ivy League school.

    People need to make up their own minds and consult many sources before passing judgement on any person.

    May 28, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Ron

    This is typical CNN. Had this been a Republican nominee, the headline would have been that 53% do not have an Excellent or Good opinion of the choice. Having the power of writing the headline is pretty powerful. It's good to be king.

    May 28, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. No Hope

    sounds like 53% dont think much of her

    May 28, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. willow

    I wonder who they are polling?

    May 28, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Willy Brown

    53% DON'T!

    May 28, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Gymo

    Rush Limbaugh and Gingrich have become so befuddled by Obama that they have taken to race-baiting, and now using hate speech against an Hispanic woman who has never said a mean word about them.
    The GOP needs to keep up the hate so ordinary Americans will see why they should never ever be allowed to win another election.

    May 28, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. showmestate gal

    O-K guys I give her high Marks for just being a Woman who knows what it takes to attack that Glass Ceiling with the proper Tools more that most men but the will still attack her just because she is a Woman of independent Means! Especially the far right white haired old men who are so insecure they can't handle it!

    May 28, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Me

    This headline is misleading. The same statistic could be used to say just the opposite, that nearly half of those polled do not give Sotomayor high marks. In reality, not even half of those polled gave her high marks.

    May 28, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. duke of omaha

    What, is the country made up of 47% Hispanics already? Someone needs to do something about the Southern border already!!

    May 28, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. joe m

    par for the course i suppose.

    May 28, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    I don't know why people are describing Obama's decision to nominate a Latina female as "brilliant" – it's just common sense staring you in the face – he wants to get reelected and sees the demographics. Actually, I don't really think Sotomayer is Obama's cup of tea – she's not high falutin or fancy, she doesn't censor everything that comes out of her mouth, she is who she is. I think if he didn't want to get reelected he would have picked a black male or some prissy white male whose all image and little substance.

    May 28, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Jimmy the Greek

    That's funny!

    Right after Obama nominated Sotomayer – 47% of Americans said she's "highly qualified".

    HELLOOOO – how many Americans ever even HEARD of this woman before Obama nominated her? Yet 47% said "oh yes she's highly qualified".

    PLEASE! This only goes to show you why democracies really DON'T work. Idiots agreeing with whatever the media tells them like good little lemmings.

    PS – If 47% think she's qualified.... 53% think she's not qualified.

    May 28, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. rachel

    funny I am a mild liberl, but if this had been a conservitive judge the heading with the same numbers would have read less than half polled approve.

    May 28, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. Right Leaning Independent

    Are you serious? These people that were contacted for their opinion gave it down party lines because most of these folks had no clue who she is and what she stands for!

    May 28, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. Chris

    Please, half of Americans don't know who she is. Half of Americans still won't know who she is even (if) and when she is confirmed.

    Can you tone down the favoritism just a little bit, try not to be so obvious.

    May 28, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  24. Michele

    Bet it's higher now that we've had a chance to read some of her decisions and see what a smart woman she is.

    May 28, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  25. aCorNN watchdog

    47% have a favorable opinion of someone they know nothing about?
    I'm guessing the margin for error was +- 3%

    May 28, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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