Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's pick to be the next Supreme Court justice, ranks second-to-last in terms of public approval of any nominee dating back to 1987, according to a new CNN poll.
Only 37 percent of Americans say they would like the Senate to confirm his nomination, while 40 percent oppose him. The only other nominee to poll worse was President Ronald Reagan's choice of Robert Bork — who failed to get confirmed.
Even Harriet Miers, President George W. Bush's nominee who failed to make it to the court, polled better with 44 percent of the country approving of her. And Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated to the court by President Barack Obama but was blocked by an obstructionist Republican Senate in an unprecedented power grab, polled with 52 percent in favor of his confirmation.
"Women, in particular, are notably opposed to Kavanaugh's nomination, and it's not just partisanship driving the difference," CNN Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta reports. "Just 28% of women say the Senate should vote in favor of confirming Kavanaugh, compared with 47% of men. That gender gap extends to Democrats (6% of Democratic women support confirmation vs. 22% of Democratic men), and independents (28% of women vs. 47% of men). There's a far smaller gap between GOP women (71%) and men (77%)."
None of this is good news for Republicans.
They were hoping the Kavanaugh nomination might be a powerful motivator for Republicans to get out the vote in the November midterm elections. While some GOP voters are certainly pleased with the nomination, the party would be in a much better position to forestall a Democratic takeover election if Kavanaugh garnered widespread support, as John Roberts did in 2005 when Bush nominated him to the court and he received 59 percent support in the country.