Americans are split down the middle over whether the Senate should vote this year on President Obama’s eventual Supreme Court nominee or wait until he leaves office, according to a new survey.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal national survey found that 43% of people said the Senate should vote this year, while 42% would rather leave the matter to the next President. The death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday has sparked a political battle over nominating a successor.
The divide was pronounced along party lines, as some Republicans have said they will fight any attempt by Obama to appoint a replacement for the conservative judge. The survey found that 81% Republicans want to block an Obama nominee, while the exact opposite is true with Democrats, as 81% of them want the Senate to vote this year.
The split extended to independents, with 43% in favor of voting this year and 42% saying next year.
The poll was conducted Feb. 14 to 16 with a sample of 800 registered voters and an overall margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.