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E-Blast: HIT’s SCOTUS Memo

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MEMO: Democrats Should Aggressively Defend Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Against GOP Attacks at Today’s Hearing
To:      Democrats

From:  Roshni Nedungadi, Democratic pollster and founding partner at HIT Strategies

Date:   March 22, 2022 

Re:      Democrats Should Aggressively Defend Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Against GOP Attacks 
As GOP Senators prepare to question Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson at today’s confirmation hearings, HIT’s data underscores the importance for Democrats to defend against the GOP mudslinging. While Democrats overwhelmingly support Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to SCOTUS, many expect Republicans to drag out her nomination, and want Democrats to defend her.

We previewed this case with The Washington Post
 last week:
Here’s the case for a vigorous Democratic defense of Judge Jackson: 
  • Democrats’ most loyal voters are unanimously supportive of Biden’s decision to nominate a Black woman to SCOTUS. In a May 2021 poll of Democratic-leaning women HIT conducted with Higher Heights and Demand Justice, supermajorities supported Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to SCOTUS. Additionally, HIT conducted four focus groups in early and mid-March 2022 and the sentiments hadn’t changed since May 2021 — respondents were overwhelmingly supportive of Judge Jackson. 
  • Watch Democratic voters express enthusiasm for Judge Jackson: 
  • Black voters expect the nominee to face mistreatment, including sexism and racism, from Senate Republicans. In the focus groups, respondents singled out Senate Republicans as likely to treat the nominee unfairly, with an older Black woman stating, “She’s going to be treated totally different because first, she’s female, and secondly, she’s Black.”  
  • However, Democratic base voters are concerned Democrats will not do enough to support the nominee against baseless Republican attacks. Some of our focus group respondents expressed concern that Democrats wouldn’t actively advocate for Judge Jackson. One focus group respondent predicted that Democrats would not be “as aggressive as Republicans”. This is consistent with the fairly widespread sentiment among Black voters that Democrats take them for granted. 
  • Democratic base voters want their senators to ‘go to bat’ for Judge Jackson. That’s what a younger base voter told us in his focus group about the forthcoming nominee—before Judge Jackson was even selected. The Higher Heights/Demand Justice poll found that 89% of Black women wanted their senators to actively advocate for the nominee. 
  • Highlighting mistreatment could energize Black voters. In our latest BlackTrack, 54% of Black voters say an unfair confirmation process would make them more likely to vote in the midterms. 
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