Opposition to Kavanaugh grows after Senate hearing: Reuters / Ipsos poll

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testifies in front of the Senate judicial committee regarding the sexual assault allegations at the Dirksen Senate office building on Capitol Hill in Washington

By Lawrence Hurley and Chris Kahn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American opposition to President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has risen following his testimony last week before a U.S. Senate committee defiantly denying the Allegations of sexual misconduct, Reuters / Ipsos survey data showed on Wednesday.

In the last seven-day average of a poll of American adults, 41 percent of respondents opposed Kavanaugh, 33 percent supported the conservative federal appeals court judge, and 26 percent said they did not know.

Opposition to Kavanaugh grew 4 percentage points after the Judicial Committee hearing on September 27 in which university professor Christine Blasey Ford detailed and denied a sexual assault charge against Kavanaugh, posing as the victim of a “political coup.”

The opposition grew every day after the hearing in the poll, conducted between September 25 and October 1.

The surge in opposition to Kavanaugh, who faces a confirmation vote in the Senate after being nominated by Trump for a lifetime court seat, appears to be driven by those who previously had no opinion. The percentage of respondents with no opinion on Kavanaugh decreased by approximately 7 percentage points compared to a week before the hearing.

Support for Kavanaugh has been relatively stable, the poll showed, rising slightly after the hearing.

Opposition rose among Democrats by 6 percentage points to 71 percent and was relatively unchanged among people not affiliated with a political party compared to before the hearing, according to the poll. Support among Republicans was 70 percent, increasing 4 percentage points in the days after the hearing, but it was lower among Republican women, at 64 percent.

Among independents and people not affiliated with a political party, 31 percent opposed Kavanaugh, 20 percent supported him, and 49 percent said they did not know.

The fight for Kavanaugh’s nomination comes in the context of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault that has toppled a succession of powerful men.

The Reuters / Ipsos survey was conducted online in English. It collected responses from 4,057 American adults, including 1,347 Republicans and 1,653 Democrats. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of approximately 2 percentage points.

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