More Americans oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court than support it, a new poll released from Ipsos on Friday found.
The poll marks the first time a plurality of Americans have opposed a Supreme Court nominee since polling began on the issue.
Kavanaugh is a federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was nominated by President Donald Trump on July 9 to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The nominee is facing sexual assault allegations from a former High School classmate, Christine Blasey Ford, who said he attempted to rape her at a party when he was 17-years-old. Ford has said she is willing to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as next week, though no date has been scheduled. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.
After Ford came forward, Ipsos found that 40 percent of Americans oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination, while 31 percent favor it and 29 percent say they have no opinion on the subject.
Support for Kavanaugh’s nomination is split strongly along partisan lines. A majority of Republicans responding to the poll – 70 percent – said they support the nomination compared to just nine percent of Democrats. Independents oppose the nomination by a margin of 43 percent to 24.
The survey also found a significant gender gap in the perception of Ford’s accusations. A plurality of women – 35 percent – said they believe Ford’s accusations, while 21 percent said they did not. Men were more likely to believe Kavanaugh’s denials, as 37 percent said they don’t believe the accusations compared to just 28 percent who said they did.
Overall, 32 percent of respondents said they believe the allegations while 28 percent do not. A plurality – 40 percent- are unsure. The results on this question also reflect a significant partisan divide, as 56 percent of Democrats believe the allegations and 61 percent of Republicans do not.
“Our new poll shows that more than gender, party is the main driver of people’s point of view about this fight, another sign of our highly tribal times,” Cliff Young, the president of Ipsos, said.
The Ipsos poll – conducted online Wednesday and Thursday – compiled data from 1,008 adults. According to its authors, it has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 points.
Despite Kavanaugh’s unpopularity as a nominee, nearly half of Americans responding to the poll said they believe he will be confirmed anyway. While 43 percent of respondents said they’re unsure if he will eventually sit on the Supreme Court, 45 percent predicted he will be confirmed compared to just 11 percent who said he won’t.