May 29th, 2009
12:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Majority approve of Sotomayor nomination

According to a new poll, 54 percent of Americans approve of Sonia Sotomayor as President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
According to a new poll, 54 percent of Americans approve of Sonia Sotomayor as President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans approve of President Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Fifty-four percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday approve of Obama's choice, 24 percent disapprove and 22 percent are undecided.

In a Gallup poll conducted in the hours after Tuesday's nomination announcement, 47 percent of those questioned said they rated 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 had no opinion.

The Quinnipiac University survey suggests that Democrats overwhelmingly back the Sotomayor nomination, and that Republicans oppose it by a 46 percent to 26 percent margin.

The poll also indicates that nearly six out of 10 women back the pick, with 18 percent of the women questioned opposed. Forty-eight percent of men questioned say they approve of the Sotomayor nomination, with 31 pecent opposed.

If confirmed by the Senate, Sotomayor would become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. A third of those polled say that's very important, 36 percent feel it's somewhat important and one in four say it's not very important.

But by a much larger margin, those questioned do suggest that Sotomayor's background was a major factor in her nomination.

"Seven in 10 think that Judge Sotomayor's Hispanic heritage played a big role in President Obama's decision to nominate her," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

As for the pending confirmation process: 47 percent of those questioned say senators should consider only Sotomayor's legal qualification in deciding whether to support her nomination, while 43 percent say senators should consider her views on such issues as abortion and affirmative action.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted May 26-28, with 1,438 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Reformed Republican

    And of course the obstructionst rethuglicants will most certainly drag gender, ethnicity, intelligence, temperament and food choices into the dialogue and further alienate the GOP from mainstream America.
    Morons...

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. This liberal democrat against Obama

    If you look at some other polls, they will tell you differently.
    But then again you're too much of a coward to do that!

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Steph

    She is very qualified! Thank you CNN for FINALLY releasing the full quotes.

    May 29, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    When will the republicans stop making talking points off of sound bytes?

    May 29, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Glen in LA

    I just read CNN's post of Sotomayor's "racist" speech. Taken in context, the comment making all the news was significant only in its thoughfulness. It is definitely not an example of hatred out of ignorance or deprivation promulgated by Judge Sotomayor's critics.

    May 29, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. CF

    The only reason the biggest-mouthed of the GOP talking heads are outspoken against her is that they are automatically against anything Obama or a Democrat says or does, regardles of what ti is

    May 29, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Scott Stodden

    Who wouldnt approve of her nomination to the highest court, Sonia Sotomayor is more than qualified for the position. Sonia Sotomayor is going to take this court to new highs we've never seen, America loves Sonia not just Latinos or Latinas. Sonia Sotomayor brings class, intelligence & experience that we've never seen from a justice to the Supreme Court. Im just going to say it now, Congratulations Justice Sonia Sotomayor, we know your going to serve the Supreme Court well.
    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    May 29, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. The Unshrub

    Rush claims that Sotomayor has had 80% of her decisions have been overturned by the Supreme Court. That is a blantant lie. The truth is only 1.3% of her opinions have been overturned, and if you use those opinions that the Supreme Court has actually heard the rate is 60%. WHICH IS Average, since the Supreme Court general only hears cases in which they have a high chance of overturning.

    RUSH and the others conservative groups are making claims that are totally lies.

    May 29, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Pragmatic

    The conservative republicans were promising "to fight this nomination" before Souter had finished the sentence announcing his retirement.

    If President Obama nominated Jesus Christ Himself ... the conservatives would complain about that being an ethnic choice (Jewish) with too much empathy and a liberal outlook not to mention being in favor of the Golden Rule.

    Supreme Court Judges: 110 Old White Male Judges: 106 ....

    May 29, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    Quinnipiac's polls have shown to not be reliable. CNN, why don't you use a more reliable pollster? Ms. Reverse Racist is not well taken by anyone that I know and I work in an extremely professional office of many.

    May 29, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Will

    Typical Republican bigotry. All haters!!! Sonia Sotomayor is beyond qualified to serve as a Supreme Court Judge. Her comments have been taken out of context to serve the Republican agenda of hate and dividing the American people. If any of the ignorant conservatives and Repubs took the time to read the entire speech from where her comment had been extracted, then you will know that her comment is not a racist one. Rush, Newt, Coulter, and all the other morons who claim to love America so much have done nothing but promote hate, fear, bigotry, and divisiveness. You call that love for our country? Cheers to President Obama and Judge Sotomayor. Their brilliance will continue to shine and promote hope amongst all Americans!!! Lets judge Sotomayor for her intelligence and achievements. And the fact that she is a latina woman is just icing on the cake!!!

    May 29, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Kevin in Ohio

    We must be saved from the tyranny of the majority, then. (Isn't that the reasoning of the anti-Prop 8 people??????).

    May 29, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    This is becoming absurd. It seems everyone and everything is tried in the court of public opinion nowadays.

    I'm waiting for the confirmation hearings myself. How she conducts herself there and the substance of her answers will guide my opinion one way or the other.

    For someone to say otherwise is disingenuous... making these polls inane at best.

    May 29, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    The majority approves of Sotomayor........ duh! Of course, most Americans are thinking and fair people. That's why we rejected the GOP's vile politics.

    That's why only ......21% ....... claim to be GOP!

    I believe that the approval is much higher. The Pollsters still can't get people who do not have landlines!

    May 29, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Michael in Ventura,CA

    Let's get it done before recess!

    May 29, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Candy West Virginia

    I sure do, brilliant choice! She is over qualified for the position actually.

    May 29, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Shay

    I believe Sonia Sotomayor is the perfect person for the Supreme Court!

    May God Bless her!

    May 29, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Fort Lauderdale

    It may not be worth opposing, but it's not the best choice. Ethnicity and gender are not good reasons for selecting Supreme Court judges. This was a political nomination for Obama, designed to secure his support among Hispanics.

    In fact, Sotomayor's comments were inappropriate and one hopes that is not the rationale she uses for making Court decisions. Also one hopes that Obama doesn't continue to make selections based on race and gender rather than on merit. That is what the Democratic Party did in putting him forth in 2008. Now, he needs to demonstrate effective leadership as President and that is still a question mark, especially in foreign policy where his record to date is not looking good.

    May 29, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Of course, we support her. She represent the real America...a nation of mutts each with valid problems solving techniques and vision.

    Of course, that vision is tainted by who we are and waht we have been experienced.

    I will never know exactly what it feels like to be a Latina, diabetic, person of color, Catholic, highly intelligent, competent lawyer and judge, but from 18 years living outside the USA, I know damn well when someone is behaving in a racist fashion towards me.

    And I can empathize!

    A characteristic much needed in the judicial system top to bottom.

    May 29, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Maggie

    you are so full of bs.

    May 29, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. donttreadonme

    Those of us that are not spellbound by everything Obama can look objectively at this appointment. What I have learned about her is that she has made some statements that show very poor judgment and a lack of restraint. Good judgment and restraint are requirements to sit on the Highest court.

    May 29, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    The only ones that do not approve are the party of NO. if you don't look and act like them, then they don't approve. Way to go Judge Sotomayor.

    May 29, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Edward

    Regarding the firefighter case the court did not vote to deny the firefighters promotions, they can’t vote on that ... they voted in favor of the states right to discard the test. According to the law the state has the right to discard the test and although this law is obviously biased and racist, had the court voted against the rights given to them by law interest groups that support such racism would sue and claim that it is a violation of their rights to deny them the privilege of discarding the test. Essentially what the court did in this case was uphold the law and although it’s a racist law (just because it’s law doesn’t mean that it’s right) that must be changed any other ruling would have been “making law from the bench” … the very thing that she is being accused of doing. It is not in the courts jurisdiction, so to speak, to rule on the morality of such a law but rather to uphold it. Rulings on the morality and justness of the law are made elsewhere.

    May 29, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Edward

    I was not pleased when I first heard her comments regarding "the richness of her experience" but not wanting to take the quote being repeated on television over and over out of context I did my own research and found that she was actually addressing the issues of sex and race discrimiations rulings made by the supreme court throughout it's history and she was trying to say that a supreme court filled with one race and sex (Caucasian males) cannot properly understand all of the different perspectives that these discrimination cases by default are viewed through and therefore having witnessed some of these things first hand she would perhaps see things differently that someone who "hasn't lived that life". She went on to say that there are many who are fair minded but some simply can't understand without having the experience and some simply don't care to understand. Again, this statement was made during a session regarding sex and race discrimination rulings and “news” programs are making it sound as though she brought up her sex and race just to make a point. Certainly there are people fanning the flames in an attempt to cause outrage. Those taking the statement out of context must have read the entire transcript in their search for more quotes that they could misrepresent and simply omitted that which would not validate their misleading argument.

    May 29, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. Obama Victim

    Quite funny....

    54% Approve Sotomayer??

    Exactly HOW many Americans in that poll actually KNOW any of Sotomayer statements?

    Ask this poll questions:

    "Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that a hispanic woman judge will always reach better conclusions than white male judges?

    May 29, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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