Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito begin today on the Hill. Democrats have been making noise about delaying or filibustering the eventual vote, but new polling indicates that the public overwhelmingly supports the Alito nomination. The numbers are right in line with those Chief Justice Roberts had at the same point, and as much as the far left may despair the whole process is loaded up to go just as smoothly for Alito.
From the story on the ABC News/Washington Post poll:
Six in 10 Americans plan to tune in to the Senate confirmation hearings that start today for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito, and his supporters continue to outnumber his opponents by about a 2-1 ratio.
Fifty-three percent of Americans want the Senate to confirm Alito to the Supreme Court, 27 percent oppose his confirmation, and 20 percent are undecided. Support for Alito has not changed substantially from when his nomination was first announced in late October; in terms of public sentiment, he’s in about the same position as John Roberts was at the opening of his hearings to become chief justice.
Interest in the Alito hearings is also in line with early interest in the Roberts’ nomination: Sixty percent plan to pay close attention to the Senate proceedings, with about one in five saying they’ll be following them “very closely.” Among the reasons people are likely to tune in is to hear what, if anything, Alito may say about abortion-rights cases, particularly the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.Direct of Judge Alito probably won’t begin until Tuesday.