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. elliott

    What a terrible choice....but typical for Osama, uh...Hussein Obama

    May 29, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Mike WV

    I wasn't polled – I disapprove! We need Supreme Court Justices who don't legislate from the bench and are impartial towards all US citizens. In addition, it would be great to have an appointee actually rule according to the Constituion as it is written not some liberal interpretation.

    May 29, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Mike in SA

    Vive Miguel Estrada!!

    For those that don't get it, look it up.

    May 29, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Libs-R-Idiots

    The same Libs claiming that Repubs are racist are the same ones who vilified Gonzales. Double standard? Naw... Not the Democrats, They cant have a double standard, when they have no standards for themselves.

    May 29, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. elliott

    54% is just above half......the same people that put Obama in office....no surprise here. Which means that just under HALF disapprove of her......No huge story here. Pretty much divided across party lines. America is more divided than it has even been. There is a wider gap between Repubs and Dems. It's about their world view. Their philosophy. They are fast becoming polar opposites...

    May 29, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    No sh** Sherlock!*&^

    May 29, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. dan

    No they don't you fools. Bo don't want to appoint any "real americans" to anything because they don't approve of his agenda. The media must be right there with him. Polls are jokes. Bo just let the black panthers off the hook. He is a racist and a socialist

    May 29, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. DT

    Poll: Majority approve of Sotomayor nomination.

    The headline is incorrect. 47% is not a majority. It is a plurality of the respondents in the poll, but not a majority.

    May 29, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Joe

    I'm waiting for the Rush \ Newt \ Rove \ Cheney \ Steele talking points....Will have a comment in a few hours....

    May 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. chubby

    The stats will change once the American public get to hear her views for themselves instead of listening to the lame stream media. She is at least as radical as obama and a racist on top of that. Lawyers who have been in her court room says she is abusive to everyone including other judges and her opinions have been over turned 60 per cent of the time by the Supreme Court. Change you can believe in, you betcha.

    May 29, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Jason

    this sounds more realistic then that last poll CNN conjured up saying Americans are split.

    May 29, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Alfred E. Neumann

    Wow, CNN takes a poll and that proves she's qualified?

    It's part of the spin – not only by the White House & Democrats, which is what you would expect & OK. But also spin by the media which I refer to as bias.

    Charles Krautheimmer (sp) had a nice article which centered on a Conn. fire dept tossing out a promotion exam because all the minorities failed. Sotomayor agreed with the city to toss out the exam because minorities failed to pass the test.

    We should be looking at her record and not her gender or race. CNN should dump its bias and present the truth, all of it!

    Most of her decisions referred on to the Supreme Court have been reversed. That should be the topic for discussion, not her race or gender. I am afraid that she possesses less talent that Clarence Thomas – not good.

    May 29, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. NO MORE REPUBLICAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE OBAMA UNTIL 2016

    great baby i love her

    May 29, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Scott the Independent

    Just the fact that the GOP has started calling her names and out of her name is enough to nominate the women. Had the GOP been in full support then I'd be worried. But, from all I've read she is fair and balance – unlike others that utilize the phrase

    May 29, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    I am sorry I do not approve her. My neighbor also does not and neither my friends. I wonder from where CNN is getting the news. They must be talking to liberal people in California and/or New York. We do not need such racist Judge on the bench. Sorry.

    May 29, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. danny

    When will race become a non-factor? I'm sooooo.... sick of hearing what the critics say. Why is it so difficult for people to see through the negative comments. This lady deserves respect and deserves this great opportunity because of what she has accomplished in life. How about that? Don't let the "devils" sway your changes of going to heaven.

    May 29, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Sorensen

    The not too bright republicans obviously have a major intellectual
    problem (more than the one they are born with) in understanding
    the immense value of balance inside the 9 judges. Roberts, Alito,
    Scalia, etc. need a counterweight. DUH!
    Sotomayor is brilliant, human, warm and smart. (Alito, Roberts – ?)
    Cheney, Limbaugh, Rove, etc. keep dragging the poor, old and
    increasingly irrelevant GOP further and further down the drain. It will
    probably be 8-12 years before some intelligent and relevant younger
    people will convince the younger generation to vote for them.
    Strangely enough, George W Bush now seems to be the only one
    in the pack with a touch of class and style. How about that!!

    May 29, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. T Mckinley

    If the Republican party ever wants to win a national election again, at least in places with large hispanic populations, they need to tell Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, and Newt Gingrich to SHUT UP.

    Playing the anti-Latino racist card is the absolute WORSE thing the GOP can do in this situation. If they end up completely losing the hispanic vote, they are finished.

    May 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. jrzshor

    Fifty-four percent. wow what a mandate (womandate?)

    May 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. danny a newyorker

    As a Puerto Rican who grew up in NY I am very proud of the election of Sotomayor. However, if she were not qualified for such a position, I would be the first to say, get someone who is. However, I do believe she is qualified..

    Thank You

    May 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Tyler

    As a Canadian I can't believe that the conversation
    about someone's race is so prevalent! The GOP,
    Democrats and the people making a stink about this
    appointment should be ashamed! It should be
    about the best man/women for the job!

    Disgusting and glad I live in a truly free country....

    May 29, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. a. michael martinez

    Judge Sotomayor's nomination is proof that the American dream is not only alive and well in 2009 but that it is becoming more accesible and more of a reality for all Americans, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sex, etc. As an Hispanic American, whose family has lived in New Mexico since the 1600s, I am proud, excited and thankful to see the American dream opening up to everyone...I hope and believe more than ever in my life (i'm 39) that America IS the land of opportunity and that things will continue to get even better for all of us–white, black, Hispanic and otherwise...God Bless America!

    May 29, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Hayden

    Sadly, had Obama nominated a postage stamp for the Supreme Court a majority of American's would no doubt be in support. It seems that there are people in this country, today, unwilling to cast even a critical eye at the President. In this rabidly partisan (isn't it supposed to be post partisan atmosphere) the Dems and Obamatons can't find anything bad to say about the women and the GOP can't find anything good to say.

    May 29, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    If the senators consider her views on abortion and affirmative action, then they are, in essence, not considering her as a judge. They are considering her as someone who will rule subjectively. She should definitely be considered based on her legal qualifications. How many times in the past has she judged based on personal feelings, and ONLY personal feelings? How she feels about things doesn't matter; it's whether she brings them into the courtroom.

    May 29, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Ann

    They approve Mr. Obama's choice like sheep. It has nothing to do with knowing anything about this nominee.

    May 29, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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