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PA-Sen: PPP Poll: Just 29% Approve of Toomey’s Job Performance

Toomey SadThe Supreme Court vacancy caused by Justice Scalia’s death has left Sen. Toomey in a bit of a bind.

That’s the conclusion of the latest Public Policy Polling survey which found the Senator with an underwater approval rating.

Just 29% approve of the job the Senator is doing while 40% disapprove. 31% are unsure.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s approval rating is only 13% among PA residents with 56% disapproving (even a majority of Republicans give their leader a bad rating).

Therefore, expect to see McConnell mentioned in plenty of Democratic ads this year as the party tries to use him as Republicans have used Nancy Pelosi for years to sully Democrats.

Supreme Court

Toomey’s poor numbers may partly be the result of his stance on the Supreme Court vacancy.

57% of respondents feel the seat should be filled this year as opposed to the next year. Additionally, by a 76/20 margin Pennsylvanians want the Senate to wait to see who the President nominates before deciding on confirmation.

A majority, 52%, said if Sen. Toomey refused to confirm a replacement it would make them less likely to vote for him in November. Just 25% said it made them more likely.

Finally, by a 51% to 40% margin, voters would blame a deadlocked Supreme Court on McConnell, Toomey and Senate Republicans rather than President Obama.

One important caveat, however, is that this poll was commissioned by Americans United for Change, a progressive organization. There is a great deal of disagreement in the political community about whether a commissioned poll is a tainted one. Some believe the firm wants to find results to please the people who hired them, while others believe such an act would be foolish as the organization wouldn’t continue business with a firm that inaccurately skewed results. Also, while PPP is generally well-regarded it is also considered a left-leaning firm.  

This survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling from February 19th to 21st. They interviewed 859 registered Pennsylvania voters and the margin of error is +/- 3.3%.

UPDATE: The Toomey campaign sent the following statement to PoliticsPA in response:

“This is a phony poll by a Democratic outfit for a far left advocacy group. Ask Pennsylvanians if it’s reasonable to let the people have a say over the future direction of the Supreme Court, and they say it is.”

27 Responses

  1. Toomey is a Hack, he supports terrible trade deals and will loose big time. His only chance at re-election is if he gets on The Trump Train!

  2. toomey, putting the “junior” in junior senator since 2011. you were elected as a republican senator to represent conservative ideals through GOVERNANCE. abstaining from your duties for plainly partisan political motives is disgraceful.

    if you want to talk about giving the people a say, it’s a virtual guarantee that three additional SCOTUS justices will be appointed in the following two presidential terms, so this “generational” shift you reference is bunk. the next two presidential terms will see the SCOTUS change dramatically, regardless of Scalia’s specific replacement. so even if i could shame you into doing your job, you’d still get your “wish”, as the people will get to weigh in on the shape of the supreme court by voting for the next two presidents, just as you claim is so important to you.

    stop giving conservatism a bad name, and do the job you’re paid to do. i’m tired of conservatism connoting race hate, global domination and bureaucratic spite. there’s a value to having a variety of opinions thoughtfully represented in any argument. you stand firmly on the side of apathy.

  3. David Daino

    Bork did not withdraw. He lost the vote in the Judiciary Committee but refused to withdraw his name from cnsideration. He demanded a floor. It’s which he lost something like 52-48. I believe it was the first time a nominee was defeated on purely ideological grounds.

  4. David –

    Respectfully, the practice of this modern day charade began not in 1991 but in 1987 when – within an hour of Robert Bork’s nomination – Ted Kennedy went on national television and forever politicized the judiciary branch. In the ensuing months, left-wing politicians and special interest groups engaged in a well-coordinated televised onslaught that was squarely aimed at scaring the public and intimidating senators into rejecting Bork.

    Rather than have a rational and intelligent discussion on Bork’s philosophical approach to judging … some of which I myself disagree with … Kennedy et al. exclusively focused on policy outcomes, most of which were gross distortions anyway. It still has never been explained to me how, if Bork were appointed, “schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution.”

    As a result, for the past 28+ years and for the foreseeable future, every time we have a Supreme Court vacancy, public interest groups will fuel the same ridiculous questions. Is the nominee “for” or “against” abortion? Is the nominee “for” or “against” gay marriage? Is the nominee “for” or “against” limits on political spending?

    Judges – in their official capacities, at least – aren’t for or against any of those things. Justice Scalia might have been personally against flag burning and protecting arrestees from DNA swabs, but his interpretative philosophy dictated that he apply the law such that the opposite policy outcome would result.

  5. Per ABC News –

    Vice President Joe Biden has criticized Senate Republicans’ plan to prevent President Obama from filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, saying in an interview last week that he thinks Republicans “don’t believe” the strategy “makes sense.”

    But when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 1992, Biden suggested Democrats should “seriously consider” not holding confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court nominee put forward by President George H.W. Bush if a justice were to retire in the final months of the presidential election year.

    “The Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling hearings on the nomination, until after the political campaign season is over,” Biden said in a floor address on June 25, 1992, about reforming the Supreme Court confirmation process.

    Biden claimed that his proposal was not “an attempt to save the seat on the Court in the hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it,” a charge Democrats have leveled at Republicans over the past week.

    He also said the cost of keeping the court split 4-4 would be “quite minor” compared to the “bitter fight” that would ensue if the president tried pushing through a nominee.

  6. Pat Toomey’s approval rating among Republicans is 43% approve; 30 % disapprove and 27% not sure. Pat Toomey first challenged Arlen Specter in 2004 and has a high name ID among Republican so “not sure” can be considered “not good”. Pat Toomey is seen by many as having betrayed and abandoned those who supported him since 2004 and have repeatedly voted for him. I think the Democrat is well-positioned to defeat him.

  7. Just heard Toomey’s disgraceful new radio ad, sixty seconds of BS equating patriotism with not letting Obama name a Supreme Court justice. Toomey will wash out to sea in the November tsunami.

  8. Reasonable Rep-

    My point is that there are plenty of judges that the GOP nominees would like to elect who have shown they same inability to recognize basic civil rights as Scalia did. If Obama were to pick from Cruz’s short-list, Cruz would be singing a different tune and complain about any delays in filling the vacancy.

    My thought experiment is how to demonstrate hypocrisy.

    Until Justice Thomas, supreme court votes were unanimous or nearly so. Even Scalia got in with 97-0 or 98-0. It wasn’t a big partisan fight, thought it got pretty heated with Bork and he had to withdraw.

  9. Your tv ads against Obama’s future Supreme Court nominations are insulting to me and many of my friends. You claim to support the constitution and then abandon it when it suits your extreme right wing agenda. Please come back and join the people.

  10. Josh –

    First, you’re quoting the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

    Second, can you cite ONE opinion from ANY judge – in a gay marriage case or otherwise – suggesting that the law permits homosexuals to be segregated from heterosexuals on buses?

  11. I’m not even going to THINK about voting Republican if the party elites continue to take a stand against gay marriage and another stand for LGBT discrimination. Sorry, but I don’t like the idea of having to ride the “gay” bus or go to the “gay” bar. There’s this part of the constitution that says that “…all men are created equal.” And, boy oh boy, I take the constitution seriously. However, banning assualt weapons gives me mixed feelings. What the Republican Party needs is a David Cameron figure.

  12. A couple of things here. This is the first time that I’ve seen PoliticsPA attempt to characterize the polling entity. Is this a new trend, something we should expect for all of the future polls or just this one?

    For me this highlights the tension between the Dark Money interests that are driving the campaigns on both sides and public opinion. Key elements of the Dark Money people don’t want any Obama appointment. But, as this poll seems to indicate, the general public would prefer that Congress react to a specific appointment not the process of appointing.

  13. David –

    I’m not sure what you mean by Obama nominating a “conservative” for the vacancy? That label – like “liberal” – suggests a set of policy preferences, which are what the President and Congress are in the business of advancing.

    But as far as I’m aware, the role of appellate judges is simply to interpret and apply the law irrespective of the policy preferences held by themselves or by anybody else.

  14. His Supreme obstructionism kills him with Independents:
    From PPP:
    -Strong majorities of voters—58/35 in Ohio and 57/40 in Pennsylvania—think that the vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. What’s particularly noteworthy about those numbers—and concerning for Portman and Toomey—is how emphatic the support for approving a replacement is among independent voters. In Ohio they think a new Justice should be named this year 70/24 and in Pennsylvania it’s 60/37. Those independent voters are going to make the difference in these tight Senate races, and they have no tolerance for obstructionism on the vacancy.
    -Voters are particularly angry about Senators taking the stance that they’re not going to approve anyone before even knowing who President Obama decides to put forward. By a 76/20 spread in Pennsylvania and a 74/18 one in Ohio, voters think the Senate should wait to see who is nominated to the Court before deciding whether or not to confirm that person. Toomey and Portman are out of line even with their own party base on that one—Republicans in Pennsylvania think 67/27 and in Ohio think 63/32 that the Senate should at least give President Obama’s choice a chance before deciding whether or not to confirm them.

  15. PAVoter-

    The advise and consent part comes AFTER the president actually nominates someone (hopefully based on their merits).

    Toomey’s refusal in advance of a nominee named, and his excuse, do not pass the smell test. If Obama appointed a conservative protege of Scalia, Toomey would be begging to vote on him.

    What would be funny is if Obama nominated a conservative, got all the right-wingers to reverse their excuse for not voting, then pull the nominee.

  16. The role of a Senator is to “advise and consent.” Toomey has refused given his advice and he’s not given his consent. He’s with in his authority hear. Dems including Schumer, Obama, Clinton and Biden made the same argument Toomey is making years ago. You may not love it…but he’s within legal bounds here.

  17. PPP is a pretty decently rated pollster. The Toomey campaign is simply shifting the focus away from his poor performance as Senator.

  18. A phony poll designed to make news and shape opinion, not measure the popular opinion.
    Worthless drivel.
    Hope it didn’t cost the front group much.

  19. Pat Toomey-

    “Ask Pennsylvanians if it’s reasonable to let the people have a say over the future direction of the Supreme Court, and they say it is”

    Yes, and they DID have their say when they OVERWHELMINGLY re-elected Obama for another 4 years. (not 3).

    Also, they elected you and Bob Casey. Bob’s got three more years in his term and Pennsylvanians want him to represent them and vote on Obama’s nominee.

    Pat, if you don’t want to do your job, then resign.

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