NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll Kavanaugh and Midterms A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll reveals that a plurality of Americans find Ford more credible than Kavanaugh.
NPR logo NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll Kavanaugh and Midterms

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll Kavanaugh and Midterms

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before her testimony Thursday on Capitol Hill in the confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Pool/Getty Images

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before her testimony Thursday on Capitol Hill in the confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Pool/Getty Images

Following last week's testimonies of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll reveals that a plurality of Americans find Ford more credible than Kavanaugh. Furthermore, if doubts linger, a majority of Americans say Kavanaugh should not be confirmed.

Yet, Kavanaugh's nomination has had the effect of firing up the Republican base, and with just over a month away from critical midterm elections, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared.

"Despite the overall picture which favors Ford's side of the argument, the back and forth between Democrats and Republicans has resulted in the enthusiasm gap closing," says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Voters in both parties are now similarly motivated about the midterm elections."

Read more insight and analysis from NPR: HERE and HERE

Read the Full Results of the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Key Findings:

Who did you believe?

  • 45% of Americans believe Dr. Ford– up from 32% the week before
  • One in three residents (33%) believe Kavanaugh - Up from 26% the week before.
  • 22% are unsure down from 42% who were unsure the week before.
  • 76% of Democrats believe Ford .
  • 76% of Republicans believe Kavanaugh.
  • Among independents, a plurality say they believe Ford (47%) over Kavanaugh (29%).
  • NOTE: In a 1991 NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, 40% of Americans believed Clarence Thomas and 24% believed Anita Hill.

Enthusiasm Gap:

  • 75%, up from 69% in July, say they consider this year's midterm elections to be very important.
  • 82% of Democrats describe the midterm elections as 4 very important as do 80% of Republicans.
  • 65% of independents have this view which is nearly the same proportion that did in July (64%).

Level of honesty:

Kavanaugh:

  • 31% say he told the truth.
  • 26% think he mostly told the truth but was also hiding something.
  • 30% report he mostly lied.
  • 13% are unsure.
  • NOTE: In 1991 30% of Americans thought Clarence Thomas told the entire truth before the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, a larger proportion (44%) said he mostly told the truth but also hiding something, and only 9% said he lied. 19% were unsure.

Ford:

  • 40% of residents nationally say Dr. Ford was telling the truth about what happened
  • 22% say she was mostly telling truth but also hiding something,
  • 24% think she mostly lied.
  • 14% are unsure.
  • NOTE: In 1991, 11% of Americans reported to the CBS/New York Times Poll that Anita Hill was completely truthful, 39% said she was mostly telling the truth but also hiding something, 38% thought she mostly lied. 12% were unsure.

Partisanship and Gender:

  • 52% of women believe the testimony of Ford over Kavanaugh
  • 39% of men say they believe Kavanaugh, 37% side with Ford was truthful, and 24% are unsure.
  • 76% of Democrats believe Ford while 76% of Republicans believe Kavanaugh

Support of Kavanaugh:

  • Oppose: Nearly half of Americans (48%), up from 43% just last week
  • Support: 41%, comparable to 38% previously, support his confirmation.
  • 11% are unsure. 19% were uncertain prior to the hearings last week.

The FBI Investigation:

  • 52% say Kavanaugh should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court if there is still doubt about the charges after the FBI investigation.
  • 40% think he should be confirmed even if there is doubt about what happened.
  • 8% are unsure.
  • NOTE: In 1991, 56% thought Thomas should be appointed even if doubt still existed, 35% said he should not be, 9% were unsure, according to a CBS News/New York Times survey.
  • 84% of Democrats and 51% of independents think Kavanaugh should not be confirmed if questions still exist after the FBI investigation.
  • 77% of Republicans, though, say Kavanaugh should be confirmed even if doubts still exist.

Contact:
Ben Fishel, NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org