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Sotomayor Winning In Court Of Public Opinion

Before today's Senate hearing even began, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, was doing fairly well at least in the court of public opinion.

Gallup's pollsters reported her approval rating at 53 percent versus 33 percent against her.

That contrasts greatly with a Rasmussen poll cited by Sen Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee and appeared on ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday.

Kyl said.

It's interesting that I just reviewed the Rasmussen poll — most recent poll about American public opinion about Judge Sotomayor. They oppose her confirmation, only 37 percent support it. And I found it interesting that among women, by a majority of 9, they oppose her confirmation. Hispanics and Asians, by a majority of 11, they oppose —

That Rasmussen poll was taken just after the Supreme Court's New Haven firefighter case decided in June in which the court reversed a lower court decision Sotomayor participated in.

An excerpt from Rasmussen's report:

In our first survey after the president's announcement, 45% of voters favored confirmation of Sotomayor, who, if approved by the Senate, will be the first Hispanic member of the high court. Twenty-nine percent (29%) opposed her confirmation, However, a month later, in a survey conducted on the two nights following the Supreme Court's reversal of her best-known appellate court decision, only 37% said Sotomayor should be confirmed while 39% disagreed.

Yet even after the Supreme Court's reversal of her ruling in a reverse discrimination case filed by New Haven firefighters, 84% of U.S. voters said they expected her to win confirmation. Fifty-eight percent (58%) characterized her confirmation as Very Likely. These numbers have remained largely unchanged since polling on her nomination first began.