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. Adele

    I read many of her speeches and some of her law cases. She will be a wonderful Supreme Court Justice.

    May 29, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. matt

    What a non-story. The people that are avid supporters of Obama think the nomination was brilliant. The people that don't support Obama think the nomination stinks. If Obama said the sun rose in the west today, there would be a poll that indicated 54% agree with the President, 42% disagree and 4% are undecided.

    What I want to know is how could anyone have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the nomination in the "hours" following the nomination? It took a couple of days for most news about Sotomayor's past rulings, etc to make it into the press.

    Or is the public really just a pack of lemmings that will follow their leaders straight off of a cliff (either on the left or right)?

    May 29, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. southerncousin

    George Soros ACORN and the unions did a number on this country and the majority don't know it yet.

    May 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. carlo

    You hear that fringe? How 'bout that wingnuttery? No one cares what you guys think. Just because you watch Faux and listen to Rush like zombies to keep their ratings up doesn't mean you can win any elections. November, 2008. proved that.

    May 29, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. ed

    I am not suprised the majority approve her appointment. The majority is stupid, do not understand or review all the facts. The majority never read the constitution and never studied american History, so I am not suprised at all. The way I judge things now, is that if the majority wantsa, i deifintely do not.

    May 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Brian in CT

    To the Neo-Co... err... Republicans:

    You got a free ride on the 2 dolts that were jammed down our throats during the bush era, now it's time to take your medecine.

    ...and time to get the country back on a true PROGRESSIVE track.

    Looks like the people have spoken and in some ways I do hope you giver her a hard time – because that will just push you farther into the realm of insignificance and regionalism.

    May 29, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Andy J, NY, NY

    i'm just about sick of hearing how she would be the first hispanic on the supreme court

    The only people who really care about RACE being represented, rather than the rule of law being upheld, are RACISTS.

    If a white person is obsessed with the fact that they are white, the person is called an extremist and a racist.

    If a black or latino is obsessed with the fact that they are black or latino, well, thats just expressing their heritage.

    Every time there is an issue concerning race, it always smacks of a double standard. You race-obsessed fools can take a hike. That includes Sotomayor.

    May 29, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Mississippi Mike

    The majority of people don't know much about her yet. We'll see how opinions change as her judicial record and racist remarks are brought to light.

    May 29, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    They obviously don't know how unqualified she is. She is a racist and that is by her own words.

    Any white male using phrases she has used about Latina women would have already been disqualified by those comments.

    We only need go back to Alito's confirmation to see Democrats attacking someone as not being fit because of bias when it was proven over and over Alito was not biased. By their own words Democrats should not be supporting this woman.

    May 29, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Debbie

    Republicans are so predictable. It would be interesting to see whether they would approve if it was George Bush who nominated her. Oh wait, Sr. did, and they approved. How odd.

    May 29, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Mel

    That question should be asked of the oevr 4000 brave men and woman of the armed forces who lost their lives in a war that we started with false justification. Bush, Cheney and company should be led back to Washington in chains just as they should have been led out of the White House in chains!

    May 29, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Willy Brown

    Another CNN News room poll

    May 29, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Hammer

    The same group polled that said they favor Obama no doubt. By the way I have not seen Obama's 65% approval rating numbers this week. Having a hard time finding supporters? Just make them up as normal.

    May 29, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Hans Brecker RI

    hell, if the majority of people think she should get appointed then let's appoint her.....that's what Hitler thought about ther German's , too

    May 29, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. lou

    All I have to say is that the crap we are hearing from Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich is that and nothing else I just hope that the GOP senators try to block her appointment and then they can just kiss the Latino vote good bye and I guess the GOP will complete the alienation of all their supporters or maybe just maybe Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich should give it up move to Vermont and have their marriage legalized and live ever after since these two morons calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist is so laughable that borderlines in the absurd. This is what the GOP has? This is the best they can do? It’s ridiculous…. are these the voices of the GOP. Can we hear from someone with common sense? The GOP needs badly some leadership.

    May 29, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Randy

    Okay here we go putting a mexican in the high court now the latino's and mexican will never be convited on anything look out whites and black people we don't have a chance

    May 29, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Too True For You

    The "real" majority, that is. Not the neo-fascist, self-appointed "Moral Majority".

    May 29, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Big Bear, Bearden, AR 71720

    I wonder if this poll looked into whether or not the person asked knew anything about the Judge. I would bet that no one in the Connecticut area were asked about her, nor did they question any white firemen in New Haven.

    May 29, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Polling God

    It is how we elected Obama.

    May 29, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Dennis

    It could be a lot worse. At a glance it doesn't appear that she is "pro abortion" like Obama. I think in replacing Souter, there's going to be little change in the direction of the Court.

    May 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. Right Leaning Independent

    Obama could have nominated Osama Bin Laden and 50-60% of the public would approve! There is a segment of the population that is going to back the President whether his decision is good or bad just to support the President and Democratic Party...

    May 29, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. yuri

    To pre-judge a judge is being injudiciously judgemental. And that's exactly what some GOP gang members are joyfully jugglin'. In that regard, the portly, and pot-bellied pig RL, and an irrelevently inane NG deserve a round of applause.

    May 29, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. stuart petersen

    Why is cnn advertising,for a supreme court nominee?I only watch this channel once a week,may have to cut back on my viewing time.

    May 29, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. geroge cook

    WHO DID YOU POLL....1,414 Democrats, Lefties and 24 Convervative Republicants?

    May 29, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. bess

    "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."

    What's with the 47%?! "WITHIN HOURS AFTER THE NOMINATION"–Without knowing the facts and learning the details to know her how can they already determine she's an 'excellent' or 'good' choice? Do they agree just becuase Obama picked her? Sheesh, if that's the logic they're more like Republican's who blindly followed Bush than free-thinking Obama-ites.

    May 29, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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