The explosive Senate hearings involving Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh captured attention in the Garden State as elsewhere in the country. But they do not appear to have worked in his favor. Just 32 percent of New Jersey adults support Kavanaugh’s nomination while 49 percent say he should not be seated on the nation’s highest court, according to the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll.
To really understand what’s motivating attitudes toward the Kavanaugh confirmation, you need to look at things “through the lens of partisanship” and attitudes toward President Donald Trump, said Krista Jenkins, director of the poll and a professor of politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Most New Jersey Democrats (78 percent) want to see Kavanaugh rejected; voters who disapprove of Trump also give Kavanaugh a big thumbs-down (77 percent). Conversely, Republicans in large numbers favor confirming him to the court (72 percent) as do Trump supporters (81 percent).
There are also marked gender differences on the issue. Most women (55 percent) want Kavanaugh rejected; fewer men (42 percent) favor rejection. Almost twice as many men (42 percent) as women (22 percent) support Kavanaugh for the court position.
Other takeaways from the poll: Millennials in the Garden State are among those least likely to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation (20 percent); people of color largely oppose confirmation (57 percent) as compared with white respondents (44 percent). And, a majority of those with college degrees (54 percent) think he shouldn’t be seated on the court, compared with 39 percent of those without a college degree.