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A majority of voters now say that they believe the United States Senate should vote on President Barack Obama's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, according to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.
Fifty-two percent of registered voters said that the Senate should vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland, whom Obama tapped for the job last month. Three in ten say that lawmakers should leave the court seat vacant until the next president takes office, and 18 percent have no opinion.
As wrangling in the Senate over the nomination continues, voters mostly agree with with their own parties about the struggle over the vacancy, which has left the court subjected to likely 4-4 deadlocks on key cases this year.
Democrats broadly agree that Garland's nomination should be addressed this year, with 76 percent urging a vote before the end of Obama's tenure. Fifty-six percent of Republicans say they want to see the vacancy unfilled until next year, while 24 percent disagree. Among independents, 43 percent back a vote this year, while 27 percent say the vote should be delayed until a new president comes into office.
Asked this month if they approve or disapprove of the Republican Senate's move to resist a vote, 32 percent of respondents overall approve, while 52 percent disapprove.
After Associate Justice Antonin Scalia's unexpected death in February, 43 percent of voters believed that the Senate should vote on his eventual replacement during Obama's tenure, while 42 percent disagreed, according to the NBC/WSJ survey that month.
In March, shortly before Garland was officially named by the president as his intended replacement, 48 percent urged a vote on the nomination this year, compared to 37 percent who disagreed.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted April 10-14 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.