Anti-Alito Push Fails to Sway U.S. Polls Show Support of Nominee
Byline: Charles Hurt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Despite a major coordinated campaign, liberal interest groups have failed to convince the American public that the Senate should reject Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.
Every major poll indicates that far more voters think Judge Alito should be confirmed than think he should be rejected. Though that support generally is lower than it was for John G. Roberts Jr. before his confirmation for chief justice in the fall, it is on par with the public support for Supreme Court nominees during the past 20 years.
"Since the nomination of Samuel Alito, left-wing groups have lashed out at him through a number of avenues in an attempt to derail his nomination," conservative activists Sean Rushton and Joseph Cella said in a memo to supporters. "The left's campaign has involved television, radio, print and Internet campaigns, public statements, the issuing of reports, and a van-based road tour. In all these media, the left failed to generate any substantive opposition to Judge Alito."
A poll conducted by The Washington Post just before Christmas, for instance, found 54 percent in favor of Judge Alito's confirmation, compared with 28 percent opposed. A CNN poll last month similarly found 49 percent favoring Judge Alito and 29 percent opposed.
Judge Alito's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee begin Monday.
Liberal interest groups started formulating opposition even before President Bush nominated Judge Alito in late October to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Before Mr. Bush finished introducing his nominee in a White House ceremony, People for the American Way issued a statement promising to "wage a massive national effort to defeat the nominee. …