Independent voters overwhelmingly disapproved of Democrats’ handling of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, according to a new poll.
The CNN/SSRS poll published Monday afternoon showed that 58 percent of independent voters disapproved of the way Democrats handled the nomination, compared to 30 percent of Independents who approved — a 28-point margin.
Independents also disapproved of the way Republicans handled the nomination, but at a lesser 21-point margin.
The poll was conducted between Oct. 4-7 among a sample of 1,009 respondents, with a margin of error of +/-3.8. The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Republicans are hoping Kavanaugh’s confirmation has helped to energize the conservative base and expose Democrats for their strong-arm tactics to keep President Donald Trump from naming a new justice to the Supreme Court.
Republicans have argued that Democrats were the ones who leaked the confidential letter from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, for their own political gain.
They have also argued that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, held on to Ford’s letter since July and had kept it secret until right before the committee was set to vote on Kavanaugh.
The allegations of sexual assault threw Kavanaugh’s confirmation into question at the last minute, prompted a public and emotional hearing with Ford and Kavanaugh, and prompted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to call for a last-minute FBI investigation into her allegations.
They also led to other accusers coming forward, including a woman represented by TV Resistance lawyer Michael Avenatti, who claimed that Kavanaugh was present at parties were she had been gang-raped. The woman, Julie Swetnick, walked back many of her claims in a MSNBC interview later.
Republican senators said the FBI investigation had no new information to corroborate claims of sexual assault, and the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh 50-48.
CNN Senior Political Commentator and former Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said Sunday he thought the way Democrats handled the nomination hurt them with Independents.
“I think for many independents they are not ignorant to the fact that that was caused by the Democratic Party leaking this information and bringing forward someone who didn’t want to be out there, who didn’t want to be testified before Congress, but was used as a political pawn to do so,” he said on CNN State of the Union on Sunday.