Wednesday :: Nov 2, 2005

Alito And Roe : A More Potent Issue Than The GOP Wants To Admit


by Steve

On a day when Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska indicated he was favorably disposed towards Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito after meeting him and coming away convinced that he is a moderate, two polls are out that indicate a battle based on Roe v. Wade may have more traction than the GOP wants to admit.

First, as for the comments from Nelson, remember the simple fact that there will be moderate to conservative Democrats like him and Mark Pryor of Arkansas who will vote for Alito no matter what. What will be interesting to see is how GOP moderates like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chafee, and Arlen Specter will vote for him once they hear whether or not he tries to dance away from answering questions on Roe.

Getting Alito to specifically answer questions about Roe is important because public opinion will be against his confirmation should he come out against Roe. Today’s Gallup Poll shows the following:

If it becomes clear Alito would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, Americans would not want the Senate to confirm him, by 53% to 37%.

Which is why the White House will do everything possible to ensure that Alito doesn't get pinned down on Roe. And why am I no longer worried about the nuclear option?

If most Senate Democrats oppose the nomination and decide to filibuster against Alito, 50% of Americans believe they would be justified, while 40% say they would not.
If the Republicans then decide to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominations, to ensure an "up-or-down vote" on the nomination, Americans would be evenly divided as to whether that tactic was justified -- 45% say it would be, 47% say it would not.

This poll’s sample had an equal number of Democrats (34%) and Republicans, which given previous Gallup polls over the last two weeks might be a slight over sampling for the GOP.

As for how much traction the issue of Roe will have, despite the claims from our trolls, a new mid-September Survey USA state-by-state poll shows that there are only 15 states whose anti-choice level of support exceeds 45%. Nationally, the country according to this poll is pro-choice over anti-choice to the tune of 56% to 38%.

But take a close look at those states where the pro-choice position exceeds the 50% threshold, and then look at the GOP senators up for reelection next year that are likely to vote for Alito:

Pennsylvania (51% pro-choice): Rick Santorum
Ohio (52% pro-choice): Mike DeWine
Montana (53% pro-choice): Conrad Burns
Virginia (54% pro-choice): George Allen
Arizona (56% pro-choice): Jon Kyl
Rhode Island (63% pro-choice): Lincoln Chafee
Nevada (64% pro-choice): John Ensign

You want pressure points for the upcoming Alito debate, and 2006 victims? There’s your target list.

Steve :: 10:39 AM :: Comments (16) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!