The Buzz

Supreme Court vacancy poses problem for Roy Blunt

A new survey from Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling suggests that Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt could have a problem on the issue of the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy.

According to the poll, even Republican voters aren’t wild about GOP leadership in the Senate saying it won’t consider a replacement for Antonin Scalia.

Blunt, a Republican who’s seeking a second term this year against likely Democrat Jason Kander, sided with leadership in saying the next president — and not Barack Obama —should pick the nominee.

The survey concluded:

  • By 56-41 percent, a majority of Missouri voters want the vacancy filled this year. Among independents, a key voter block, 60 percent want the seat filled.
  • By 66-24 percent, Missouri voters said the Senate should wait and see who the president puts forward before deciding whether to confirm or deny that person. PPP said even a majority of Missouri Republicans (52 percent) said GOP leaders were going too far by insisting they won’t approve Obama’s choice without knowing who the pick is.
  • By a 34-point margin, Missouri voters said they were less likely to vote for a GOP senator this fall if he refuses to confirm a nominee to the court, no matter who it is. Among independents, the split was 55-20 percent.

PPP found similar concerns in other Republican-leaning states, such as Arizona, Iowa and North Carolina.

“That, combined with the increasing specter of Republicans nominating Donald Trump, could help put these seats on the board for Democrats this fall as well,” the pollster concluded.