Voters are factoring Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh into their midterm election decisions.
An NBC News/Marist poll released Friday found that many voters in Nevada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin would prefer to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh's confirmation.
In Nevada, where incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller is in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, 41 percent of voters said were more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh, and 38 percent said they would favor someone who supported him. Rosen's campaign said she was "furious" over Kavanaugh's confirmation, while Heller said the judge was a victim of "smears and attacks."
Minnesotans are even more opposed to pro-Kavanaugh candidates. Incumbent Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison is facing a tougher challenge than anticipated in his bid to become the state's attorney general, in the face of domestic abuse allegations. His opponent, Doug Wardlow, is capitalizing on the controversy to boost his numbers, but 48 percent of voters say they'd pick a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh. Wardlow was a vocal supporter of Kavanaugh's confirmation, but only 30 percent of voters said they preferred that tactic.
In Wisconsin, 42 percent said they preferred a Kavanaugh opposer, while 33 said they wanted someone who supported the Kavanaugh pick. Another 22 percent said the issue made no difference in their voting decisions. Though the poll was conducted shortly before Kavanaugh was confirmed, it came after Kavanaugh had already testified to refute sexual assault allegations against him.
Surveyors polled 929 people in Nevada, 949 adults in Minnesota, and 943 in Wisconsin between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 by phone. The margin of error is between 3.7 and 4.5 percentage points. See more results at NBC News. Summer Meza
The New York Timespublished a letter Wednesday night, signed by 650 law professors and counting, that states why they believe the Senate should not confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday, Kavanaugh "displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land," the letter says. He responded to questions in an "intemperate, inflammatory, and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators," and while the signers have "differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh," they are "united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land."
The letter will be delivered to the Senate on Thursday, and the Times is updating it online as more signatures are received. Catherine Garcia