A new poll shows 36% of Americans are now opposed to Kavanaugh's nomination for the US Supreme Court, up 6% from a similar poll in August.
The poll was conducted over 11-17 September and found only 31% of those surveyed supported Kavanaugh’s nomination. This would make Trump’s pick one of the least-supported justices to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Selecting Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy was the key pillar of Trump’s plan to create a conservative majority on the bench. Trump had campaigned on the promise he would appoint judges to overturn Roe v Wade, the case that legalised abortion in the US.
Pres. Trump says it's hard for him to imagine Christine Blasey Ford's allegation against Brett Kavanaugh is true.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 19, 2018
Support for Kavanaugh has fallen after he was accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford in high school in 1982. Ford said she feared Kavanaugh may inadvertently kill her and the incident “derailed me substantially for four or five years”.
Kavanaugh described the allegation as “completely false” and said the incident in question “never happened”.
Trump defending Kavanaugh in the face of sexual assault allegation
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to question both Kavanaugh and Ford on the issue. In a statement, White House spokesman Raj Shah said: “Judge Kavanaugh looks forward to a hearing where he can clear his name of this false allegation. He stands ready to testify tomorrow if the Senate is ready to hear him.”
Donald Trump is defending Brett Kavanaugh the same way he defended himself and other men https://t.co/f50vx4bgvD
— TIME (@TIME) September 19, 2018
Trump leapt to the defence of Kavanaugh. “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you. I feel so badly for him,” he said. “It’s a shame, because this is a great gentleman. I just think that he is at a level that we rarely see, not only in government; anywhere in life. He is not a man that deserves this…. Honestly, I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredible, lovely woman, and for his beautiful young daughters. I feel terribly for them.”
Some Republican strategists are reportedly concerned that Trump’s vigorous defence of Kavanaugh will remind voters of the infamous Access Hollywood tape which featured him boasting about groping women and the recent accusations of affairs with porn stars levelled against him.
Since Christine Blasey Ford publicly identified herself as Brett Kavanaugh's accuser on Sunday, she and her family have been through hell and back. https://t.co/AiD3Gpw3Wm
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) September 19, 2018
Christine Blasey Ford has been harassed after making accusations against Kavanaugh
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s accuser has been forced to flee her home after a Twitter user posted her personal address and called for “protests” at her Californian residence. Ford’s attorneys have said their client has been subject to “vicious harassment and even death threats” and had her email account hacked.
She is currently not able to live with her children due to concerns for their safety.
The survey found support for the staunchly conservative Kavanaugh was strongly divided along party lines. 64% of Republican respondents supported Kavanaugh’s nomination.