Brett Kavanaugh (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

A new Fox News poll reveals that Brett Kavanaugh is in trouble

The accusations by Christine Blasey Ford have had a negative effect on Kavanaugh's reputation

Matthew Rozsa
September 23, 2018 5:00PM (UTC)

A recent Fox News poll has bad news for Senate Republicans as they hope to push through Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court before the November midterm elections.

The poll, which was released on Sunday, found that only 40 percent of voters would vote to confirm Kavanaugh while 50 percent would oppose doing so. By contrast, last month 45 percent of voters said they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh and 46 percent said they would oppose doing so. It also found that voters were ambivalent about the attempted rape accusations made against Kavanaugh by California research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford: While 36 percent of the voters polled believe Ford and 30 percent believe Kavanaugh, 34 percent say they are unsure who is telling the truth.


There are some other revealing numbers in the poll. For instance, women are far more unfavorably inclined toward Kavanaugh than men: In general more of them believe Ford over Kavanaugh by 10 points, and suburban women are more likely to believe Ford by 17 points. By contrast, only 1 percentage point separates the men who side with Ford over the ones who side with Kavanaugh.

When it comes to partisan biases, the results were predictable. Among Democrats, Ford is believed over Kavanaugh by a whopping 59 percent to 9 percent; among Republicans, 60 percent of voters believe Kavanaugh and only 14 percent believe Ford.

READ MORE: I was wrong about the "blue wave": It's here. But where will it land and what does it mean?


As Fox News reported on its website:

Since August, support for Kavanagh’s confirmation dropped 12 points among independents, 11 points among suburban women, and 10 points among voters under age 45.  Support is also down, by smaller margins, among men (-5 points), women (-4), Democrats (-5), and Republicans (-4).

In a letter sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Ford told a harrowing story in which Kavanaugh and an unidentified friend held her down and attempted to rape her while they were both teenagers at a friend's party during the 1980s.

“Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help,” Blasey wrote in her letter, which was first publicly published by CNN. "Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me."


Later in the letter she described how the experience had changed her life.

"I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see REDACTED once at the REDACTED where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me," Ford wrote.

She added, "I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6 I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information. It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything."


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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford Donald Trump Supreme Court

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