Poll: Americans Split on if Senate Should Vote on Supreme Court Pick

by Mark Murray /  / Updated 
Image: The Courtroom of the Supreme Court showing Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of his seat draped in black following his death on Feb. 13, 2016.
The Courtroom of the Supreme Court showing Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of his seat draped in black following his death on Feb. 13, 2016. Franz Jantzen / Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

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American voters are divided — especially along party lines — whether the U.S. Senate should vote this year on President Obama's eventual nominee to succeed Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

NBC News

Overall, 43 percent say the Senate should vote this year on a replacement, versus 42 percent who prefer to leave the position vacant and wait for a nomination by the new president; 15 percent have no opinion.

Among Democratic voters, 81 percent want the Senate to vote this year, while just 9 percent disagree. But those numbers are flipped among Republicans — 81 percent of them want to leave the position vacant, while 11 percent prefer to vote this year.

Independents are split — 43 percent this year, 42 percent next year.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Feb. 14-16 of 800 registered voters, and the poll has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.

Here's how the question was worded in the poll:

This weekend a Supreme Court Justice passed away leaving a vacancy on the court. President Obama will nominate a new person to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Would you prefer the U.S. Senate ... vote this year on the replacement nominated by President Obama or leave the position vacant and wait to vote next year on the replacement nominated by the new president or do you not have an opinion one way or the other?

Read the full poll results here.

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