Poll: Majorities In 2 Key Swing States Want Scalia Seat Filled Before Election

Majorities in two key swing state Senate elections oppose blocking Obama’s Supreme Court nominee sight unseen, the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling firm found in a new survey.

According to the poll, which was commissioned by the liberal group Americans United for Change, 57 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania and 58 percent of the respondents in Ohio believe that the Supreme Court vacancy left in the wake of the Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death should be filled this year before a new president is sworn into office in 2017.

Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are each running for re-election this year.

Among independent voters – a key constituency for both Toomey and Portman – a whopping 70 percent and 60 percent in Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively agreed that “the vacant seat on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Antonin Scalia should be filled this year.” In Ohio, 85 percent of independents want Portman to “wait to see who is nominated to the Supreme Court before deciding whether to confirm that person.” In Pennsylvania, 74 percent of independent voters want a senator to wait to see who the nominee is before choosing whether or not to confirm that person.

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Many voters said that the Supreme Court may be a factor for them when they head to the polls in November. In both Pennsylvania and Ohio, 52 percent of voters said they would be “less likely” to support the senators for reelection if they “refuse to confirm a replacement for Justice Scalia no matter who it is.”

Both Portman and Toomey have said they don’t believe Obama should fill the slot in an election year.

The polls were conducted between Feb. 19 and 21. In Ohio, 612 voters were interviewed and the margin of error was 4 percentage points. In Pennsylvania, 859 voters were surveyed and there was an error of 3.3 percentage points.

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