The New York Daily News' Washington bureau reports on the latest USA Today/Gallup poll:
Today’s Gallup/USA Today Poll has Elena Kagan in some perilous territory in its survey out this morning, with only two other would-be justices getting lower approval marks at this stage — and they both failed to make it onto the high court.
The survey finds 46% of Americans favoring Kagan’s confirmation, versus 32% who oppose it. That would seem to be decent at first glance, but the only other nominees polling under 50% were Harriet Miers at 44% in 2005 and Robert Bork at 31% in 1987.
For an administration buffeted by President Obama's inability to stop a leaking undersea oil well and by the loss of its Republican support , the numbers suggest that Kagan needs to make a better impression with voters before the public goes to the polls to elect the next Supreme Court justice.
Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that Jeff Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committe's Republican minority, has "voiced concern...about what he called 'a leftist philosophy' expressed by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a young clerk for liberal Justice Thurgood Marshall."
It is not clear how undecided voters may react to the news that a clerk for a liberal justice expressed liberal views. But the Daily News reports:
With 22% of Americans undecided about Kagan, there’s a large pool for opponents to tap.