Tag Archives: Poll Release

New Marquette Law School Poll finds majority of Republicans across the nation favor a Trump run for president in 2024, while majority of voters overall are opposed

MILWAUKEE — A Marquette Law School Poll survey of adults nationwide finds a majority of Republicans wanting former President Donald Trump to run for president in 2024, although a majority of all adults in the survey say they do not want him to run. Among all respondents, 28% would like to see Trump make another run for the presidency, while 71% do not want him to run again.

Republicans are most favorable to a Trump run. Sixty percent say he should run, while 40% of Republicans say they do not want him to run. A minority of independents would like Trump to run in 2024, and large majorities of those who identify as Democrats oppose a Trump rerun. The full results are shown in Table 1.

All results in the tables below are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted above.  The results are from a nationwide survey of 1,004 adults in the period Nov. 1-10, 2021. The margin of error in the current poll is +/-3.9 percentage points.

Table 1: Would like Trump to run in 2024, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDYesNo
Republican6040
Independent2673
Democrat694

The extent of support for a return by Trump to campaigning is also seen in his favorability ratings. Among all adults, 32% have a favorable opinion of him, while 65% have an unfavorable opinion and 3% say they don’t have an opinion of him.

As with a possible 2024 run, Trump is viewed favorably by a very large percentage of Republicans, but he faces net unfavorable ratings from independents and especially negative views from Democrats, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Trump favorability, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican73261
Independent28683
Democrat4924

In a rematch with President Joe Biden in a possible 2024 election, Trump receives support of 34% of those polled, against Biden’s 42%, while 18% say they wouldn’t vote for either and 6% say they would not vote.

Once more, there are variations in the support for Trump, by party identification, as seen in Table 3. The relatively high percentage of each partisan group saying they would vote for someone else or wouldn’t vote suggests the difficulty either candidate faces looking to a 2024 race as of now.

Table 3: Vote for Trump or Biden in 2024, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDDonald TrumpJoe BidenSomeone elseWouldn’t vote
Republican7310142
Independent31342510
Democrat778114

Biden’s national “favorability” rating stands at 45% favorable and 49% unfavorable, with 6% saying they can’t give a rating. His favorability by party is shown in Table 4. Biden struggles with independents, a majority of whom are unfavorable to him. He makes few inroads with Republicans, where his rating is a mirror image of his Democratic favorability.

Table 4: Biden favorability, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican13834
Independent38558
Democrat83135

Vice President Kamala Harris is seen favorably by 38% of respondents and unfavorably by 46%. Sixteen percent say they haven’t heard enough to have an opinion. Favorability to Harris by party identification is shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Harris favorability, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican10838
Independent294724
Democrat761312

Opinions of Harris and Biden are closely linked. Among all respondents, 36% have favorable views of both and 41% have unfavorable views of both. Four percent have a favorable view of Biden but an unfavorable view of Harris, and 2% have an unfavorable view of Biden but a favorable one of Harris. The remaining 17% lack an opinion of Harris or Biden or both.

Among Democrats, 73% have favorable views of both Biden and Harris, 7% are unfavorable to both, with 4% favorable to Biden but unfavorable to Harris and 3% unfavorable to Biden but favorable to Harris. Thirteen percent lack an opinion of one or both.

Republicans are quite negative to both the president and vice president, with 80% unfavorable to both, 9% favorable to both, 2% favorable to Biden but unfavorable to Harris, and less than 1% unfavorable to Biden but favorable to Harris. Eight percent don’t offer an opinion.

Among independents, 42% are unfavorable to both Biden and Harris, 26% are favorable to both, 4% favorable to Biden but unfavorable to Harris, and 2% unfavorable to Biden but favorable to Harris. More than a quarter, 26%, lack an opinion of Harris or Biden or both.

Former Vice President Mike Pence is viewed favorably by 29%, unfavorably by 51%, and 20% say they haven’t heard enough to have an opinion.

The standing of Pence, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, with partisan groups is shown in Table 6. His favorability ratings among Republicans are not as strong as are Trump’s among Republicans, although he has a slightly lower unfavorable rating than Trump. After Pence’s four years as vice president, 14% of Republicans say they don’t know enough to have an opinion of him. His ratings among independents are 50% unfavorable to 22% favorable, with 28% lacking an opinion.

Table 6: Pence favorability, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican642214
Independent225028
Democrat107713

Confidence in 2020 election result

Beliefs about the accuracy of the 2020 election outcome continue to divide the population. Sixty-five percent say they are very or somewhat confident that the presidential election was accurately conducted and counted, while 35% say they are not too or not at all confident about the election results.

These views clearly divide partisans, as shown in Table 7. More than two-thirds of Republicans lack confidence in the election results. A little over 60% of independents are confident in the election results, as are nearly all Democrats.

Table 7: Confidence in 2020 election count, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDConfidentNot confident
Republican3168
Independent6238
Democrat955

Pence has drawn criticism in some Republican circles for his role in presiding over the electoral vote counting on Jan. 6. However, he has a higher favorability rating among those Republicans who are not confident in the election count, 72%, than he receives from those who say they are confident in the outcome, 45%.  Among those Republicans with a favorable view of Trump, Pence’s favorability rating is 71%, with 20% unfavorable and 9% who offer no opinion.

Biden approval rating

Biden’s job approval rating has declined since July, as shown in Table 8. In November, 49% approved and 51% disapproved, down from 58% approval and 42% disapproval in July. His November approval is barely changed since September.

Table 8: Approve or disapprove of Biden’s handling of his job, July-Nov. 2021

Poll datesApproveDisapprove
7/16-26/215842
9/7-16/214852
11/1-10/214951

Biden’s approval has fallen 14 points among independents and 13 points among Democrats since July. Republican approval fell in September, but rebounded in November, as in Table 9.

Table 9: Approve or disapprove of Biden’s handling of his job, by party identification, July-Nov. 2021

Party IDPoll datesApproveDisapprove
Republican7/16-26/211684
Republican9/7-16/21990
Republican11/1-10/211782
Independent7/16-26/215743
Independent9/7-16/214357
Independent11/1-10/214357
Democrat7/16-26/21963
Democrat9/7-16/218911
Democrat11/1-10/218316

Approval of how Congress is handling its job is at 27% in November, with disapproval at 72%. Table 10 shows approval has declined 6 percentage points since July. This poll was 78% completed when the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Nov. 5, so any impact of that is not reflected in the results for most respondents.

Table 10: Approve or disapprove of how Congress is handling its job, July-Nov. 2021

Poll datesApproveDisapprove
7/16-26/213366
9/7-16/213070
11/1-10/212772

Approval of Congress has declined among Republicans and independents since July, while it has remained stable among Democrats, as shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Approve or disapprove of how Congress is handling its job, by party identification, July-Nov. 2021

Party IDPoll datesApproveDisapprove
Republican7/16-26/212276
Republican9/7-16/211584
Republican11/1-10/211585
Independent7/16-26/213168
Independent9/7-16/212674
Independent11/1-10/212377
Democrat7/16-26/214355
Democrat9/7-16/214752
Democrat11/1-10/214554

Opinions on coronavirus issues remain divided

A majority of respondents, 56%, support requiring vaccinations or frequent COVID testing at companies with more than 100 employees, with 44% opposed. Partisan differences in support for vaccination requirements are shown in Table 12.

Table 12: Favor or oppose mandatory vaccine or testing at large companies, by party, Nov. 2021

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican2872
Independent5545
Democrat8020

The percentage saying coronavirus is a serious problem in the respondent’s state has declined since September as the rate of infection has fallen nationally, as shown in Table 13 for September and November.

Table 13: Is coronavirus a serious problem in the respondent’s state, Sept.-Nov. 2021

Poll datesSerious problemNot serious problem
9/7-16/216832
11/1-10/215050

The perception of coronavirus as a serious problem has fallen most sharply in the South followed by the West. The Midwest and East show less of a decline in the perceived problem. (The baseline perception, in September, was higher in the South and West than in the East and Midwest.) The regional differences appear in Table 14.

Table 14: Is coronavirus a serious problem in the respondent’s state by region, Sept.-Nov. 2021

RegionPoll datesSerious problemNot serious problem
East9/7-16/215941
East11/1-10/214654
Midwest9/7-16/215941
Midwest11/1-10/215050
South9/7-16/217822
South11/1-10/215347
West9/7-16/216733
West11/1-10/214852

The percentage thinking coronavirus is a serious problem in their state has declined by about 20 percentage points across each partisan group since September, although the partisan differences in level of concern remain substantial, as shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Whether coronavirus is a serious problem in the respondent’s state, by party identification, Sept.-Nov. 2021

Party IDPoll datesSerious problemNot serious problem
Republican9/7-16/214951
Republican11/1-10/213070
Independent9/7-16/216436
Independent11/1-10/214852
Democrat9/7-16/219010
Democrat11/1-10/217030

In this survey, 78% say they have received at least one vaccine dose and 22% say they have not been vaccinated. As of the end of the survey field period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 81% of those 18 years old or older had been vaccinated.

There are partisan differences in vaccination rates, shown in Table 16. Table 17 shows that these vaccination rates are also related to how serious a problem respondents think coronavirus is.

Among Republicans who think coronavirus is not a serious problem in their state, 61% have been vaccinated, while among Republicans who think it a serious problem, 90 percent have received at least one dose of the vaccine. A sense of seriousness also accompanies higher vaccination rates for independents and Democrats.

Table 16: Vaccination status, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDVaccinatedNot vaccinated
Republican7030
Independent7425
Democrat8911

Table 17: Vaccination status, by whether coronavirus is a serious problem in the respondent’s state and by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDCoronavirus a serious problemVaccinatedNot vaccinated
RepublicanSerious problem9010
RepublicanNot serious problem6139
IndependentSerious problem8416
IndependentNot serious problem6533
DemocratSerious problem937
DemocratNot serious problem7821

Reluctance to be vaccinated in the future remains high among the unvaccinated. Among those not yet vaccinated, 47% say they will definitely not get the shot, 34% say they probably won’t, and 18% say they definitely or probably will get vaccinated.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The survey was conducted Nov. 1-10, 2021, interviewing 1004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. Interviews were conducted using the SSRS Opinion Panel, a national probability sample with interviews conducted online. The detailed methodology statement, survey instrument, topline results, and crosstabs for this release are available at https://law.marquette.edu/poll/category/results-and-data/.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds nationwide support both for upholding abortion rights and for placing restrictions on abortions

MILWAUKEE – As the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide cases this term concerning laws restricting abortions in Texas and Mississippi, the public has a complicated range of opinions about those laws and whether the Court should overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal nationwide.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll focusing on the Supreme Court finds that more respondents oppose overturning Roe than would like to see the ruling struck down. But, at the same time, more are in favor of a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnancy than are opposed.

Despite the intense debate over abortion since the 1970s, nearly a third say they haven’t heard enough about Roe v. Wade to have an opinion.

The results are from a nationwide survey of 1,004 adults in the period Nov. 1-10, 2021. After an annual such survey in both 2019 and 2020, the Marquette Law School Poll has begun surveying public opinion about the Court, this year, approximately every two months, as major decisions loom and as public attention to the Court has heightened. The margin of error in the current poll is +/-3.9 percentage points.

A new Texas law, known as Senate Bill 8 (SB-8), which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, once fetal cardiac activity can be detected, and which authorizes individual citizens to sue those who aid others in getting an abortion, is favored by 25% and opposed by 59%, while 16% say they don’t know.

Opinion is sharply divided along ideological lines. Almost three-quarters of those who consider themselves “very conservative” favor the Texas law, while 9-in-10 of those saying they are “very liberal” are opposed to the law. Table 1 shows the full results by ideological self-description.

All results in the tables below are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted above.

Table 1: Favor or oppose Texas law SB-8, by ideological self-placement, Nov. 2021

IdeologyFavorOpposeHaven’t heard enough
Very conservative731413
Somewhat conservative413326
Moderate206416
Somewhat liberal38512
Very liberal3906

The partisan divide is less strong. Among Republicans, 50% favor the law and 33% are opposed. Among independents who lean to the Republican party, 42% favor the law and 37% are opposed. Majorities of Democrats, independents who lean Democratic, and independents (those who do not lean) are opposed to the law, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Favor or oppose Texas law SB-8, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard enough
Republican503317
Lean Republican423721
Independent205724
Lean Democrat8867
Democrat107614

Just less than half, 48%, of those who describe themselves as “born again” favor the Texas law, while 28% are opposed. Majorities of the other religious groups measured in the survey are opposed to the law, as shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Favor or oppose Texas law SB-8, by religious identification, Nov. 2021

ReligionFavorOpposeHaven’t heard enough
Born-again (any denomination)482824
Mainline Protestant206713
Roman Catholic, not born-again275320
No religion108010
Other religion157212

Support for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to an abortion, remains a minority view. Twenty-one percent favor overturning Roe, while 47% are opposed to ending this right to abortion. Despite the intensity of political arguments over Roe for nearly 50 years, 32% say they haven’t heard anything or haven’t heard enough about this issue to have an opinion. This is twice the percentage who said they hadn’t heard enough about Texas SB-8, which was 16%.

In the September 2021 Marquette Law School Poll surveying national opinion about the Supreme Court, 20% favored overturning Roe and 50% were opposed, while 29% said they didn’t know enough about it to have an opinion.

Awareness of the issue of Roe varies with age, while awareness of Texas SB-8 does not. Table 4 shows that those 60 years old or more are much more familiar with Roe than are those younger, especially those 18-29. More than twice as many young adults than older adults say they haven’t heard enough about Roe.

In contrast, the Texas SB-8 law is equally familiar to young and old, as shown in Table 5. While Roe v. Wade has remained controversial for half a century, it seems to have made more of a lasting impression on those old enough to have lived through its immediate aftermath. Among those born after it was decided, there is less familiarity with it. In contrast, the Texas SB-8 law has been hotly contested over the last 3 months and has made an equal, and substantial, impression on all age groups.

Table 4: Favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, by age, Nov. 2021

AgeHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
18-29421643
30-44391645
45-59361746
60+163053

Table 5: Favor or oppose Texas SB-8, by age, Nov. 2021

AgeHaven’t heard enoughFavorOppose
18-29151966
30-44152758
45-59212159
60+143155

As with SB-8, self-described ideology is strongly related to opinion of Roe, with those calling themselves “very liberal” especially likely to have an opinion, as shown in Table 6.

Table 6: Favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, by ideological self-placement, Nov. 2021

IdeologyHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
Very conservative29619
Somewhat conservative383824
Moderate391349
Somewhat liberal26470
Very liberal9784

As with SB-8, party differences, shown in Table 7, are less sharp than ideological ones (Table 6), though still substantial. The high rates of “haven’t heard enough” responses across party groups is notable, especially among Republicans where more say they haven’t heard enough than say they favor overturning Roe.

Table 7: Favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
Republican393724
Lean Republican284725
Independent441739
Lean Democrat23375
Democrat27865

Variation in opinion of overturning Roe, by religious group, is shown in Table 8. Again, there are many who say they haven’t heard enough, across all the groups. More favor than oppose overturning Roe among those who say they are “born again,” while more oppose overturning it among other groups.

Table 8: Favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, by religious identification, Nov. 2021

ReligionHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
Born-again (any denomination)363925
Mainline Protestant301455
Roman Catholic, not born-again372042
No religion251064
Other religion331750

The Supreme Court is set to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Dec. 1, which concerns a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It is regarded as an opportunity for the Court to overrule Roe v. Wade if it wishes to do so.

Thus, survey respondents were asked if they would favor or oppose a ruling to “uphold a state law that (except in cases of medical emergencies or fetal abnormalities) bans abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy” or if they haven’t heard enough about this to have an opinion. Thirty-seven percent favor a decision upholding such a law, while 32% would oppose such a ruling and 30% say they haven’t heard enough. In September, 40% favored upholding such a law, 34% opposed such a law, and 27% said they hadn’t heard enough.

Respondents prefer not to overturn Roe, by greater than a 2-1 ratio (47%-21%), but, at the same time, are slightly more willing to accept a 15-week ban than they are opposed to doing so. This is in line with much national polling on abortion over the years, which consistently finds support for maintaining Roe and a right to an abortion but accepts a variety of restrictions including on the timing of abortions, as in this case.

There are ideological differences on the Dobbs issue, with both very conservative and very liberal respondents equally aware of the possible decision. Those who are less ideological are twice as likely to say they haven’t heard enough, as shown in Table 9.

Table 9: Favor or oppose upholding 15-week abortion ban, by ideological self-placement, Nov. 2021

IdeologyHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
Very conservative16805
Somewhat conservative325512
Moderate363232
Somewhat liberal301555
Very liberal171765

Party differences in opinion of the Dobbs issue are shown in Table 10.

Table 10: Favor or oppose upholding 15-week abortion ban, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
Republican286012
Lean Republican265915
Independent393525
Lean Democrat291556
Democrat292348

Religious groups in Table 11 show substantial variation in views of an abortion ban after the 15th week of pregnancy, with those who say they are “born again” the most in favor of upholding the ban and the non-religious most opposed.

Table 11: Favor or oppose upholding 15-week abortion ban, by religious identification, Nov. 2021

ReligionHeard nothing/not enoughFavorOppose
Born-again (any denomination)335512
Mainline Protestant283835
Roman Catholic, not born-again313829
No religion312346
Other religion243443

On Nov. 1, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases concerning the ability of the federal government and of abortion providers in Texas to bring lawsuits challenging SB-8, given the unusual structure of the Texas law which relies on enforcement through suits brought by individual citizens and excludes state officials from enforcing the law. These cases as presented to the Court involve procedural issues and issues of standing rather than abortion policy per se. We asked, concerning one of these cases, if the respondent would favor or oppose a ruling “that the United States government has the right to bring suit in federal court to try to prohibit Texas Senate Bill 8, the law that bans almost all abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy, from being enforced,” or if the respondent hadn’t heard enough about this.

Thirty-eight percent favor allowing the federal government to bring suit against SB-8, while 30% oppose allowing the suit and 31% say they haven’t heard enough about this.

Of those who say they favor the Texas law, 18% say the Court should allow the federal government to bring suit against SB-8 and 51% say the suit should not be allowed, with 31% saying they haven’t heard enough about this case.

Among those who oppose Texas SB-8, 54% say the Court should allow the federal government to bring suit against SB-8 and 24% say the suit should not be allowed, with 22% saying they haven’t heard enough about this case.

Gun rights

On Nov. 3, the Court heard oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. This case considers whether a New York denial of an application for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violates the Second Amendment.

This survey asked if the respondent would favor or oppose a decision “that the Second Amendment right to ‘keep and bear arms’ protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.” Forty-six percent say they favor such a ruling, while 25% are opposed and 27% say they haven’t heard enough to form an opinion. In September, 44% favored such a ruling, 26% were opposed, and 29% said they hadn’t heard enough.

Those with a gun in the household are much more supportive of a right to carry a gun outside the home, as shown in Table 12. Those without a gun in the household are about evenly split, while a large majority of gun householders support a right to carry. Gun owners are also more likely to have an opinion on the issue than are those without guns in their home.

Table 12: Favor or oppose right to carry a gun, by gun in the household, Nov. 2021

Gun householdHeard nothingNot heard enoughFavorOppose
Gun household5136117
Not gun household10233531

Approval of the Supreme Court

Approval of the U.S. Supreme Court rose slightly to 54% in November, up from 49% in September. Disapproval declined to 46% in November from 50% in September. In the September 2020 survey, 66% approved and 33% disapproved of the way the Court was handling its job.

Approval rose among Democrats, after falling sharply in September, while there was little change among independents and Republicans. Independents remain below their higher approval levels of July 2021. Table 13 shows approval by party over four Marquette Law School surveys since September 2020.

Table 13: Approval of the Supreme Court, by party, Sept. 2020-Nov. 2021

Party IDPoll datesApproveDisapproveSkipped on webRefused
Republican9/8-15/20801920
Republican7/16-26/21574201
Republican9/7-16/21613801
Republican11/1-10/21613900
Independent9/8-15/20643420
Independent7/16-26/21613701
Independent9/7-16/21514801
Independent11/1-10/21534701
Democrat9/8-15/20574300
Democrat7/16-26/21594001
Democrat9/7-16/21376201
Democrat11/1-10/21495001

While approval of the Court has fluctuated, it remains the branch of the federal government with the most positive responses when people were asked which branch they trust the most, as shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Trust in branches over time

SurveyThe CongressThe PresidencyThe Supreme Court
9/3-13/19212157
9/8-15/20162459
7/16-26/21132858
9/7-16/21162558
11/1-10/21162360

Perceptions of the basis of decisions

Several justices have recently given speeches or public remarks arguing that the Court is not a political body and are not “politicians in robes” or the like. A majority of the public, 70%, say the justices decide cases based on “mainly the law,” while 30% say decisions are based on “mainly politics.” The percentage saying “mainly the law” rose in July, compared to 2019 and 2020 data, but fell by 10 points in September. In the new survey, it has returned to the July level, as shown in Table 15.

Table 15: In general, what most often motivates Supreme Court justices’ decisions?

SurveyMainly politicsMainly the law
9/3-13/193564
9/8-15/203762
7/16-26/212971
9/7-16/213961
11/1-10/213070

Partisan differences are modest in perceptions of the basis of decisions, with majorities of all groups saying decisions are mostly based on the law, as shown in Table 16. There has been little change in perceptions among partisans over time, as shown in Table 17, although the share of Democrats saying decisions are mostly political rose from 2019 through September 2021 but then fell in the November poll. At least 60 percent of each partisan group have said “mainly the law” in each survey, with a single exception at 57%.

Table 16: Are justices’ decisions based mainly on the law or mainly on politics, by party identification, Nov. 2021

Party IDMainly politicsMainly the law
Republican2476
Independent3268
Democrat3367

Table 17: Are justices’ decisions based mainly on the law or mainly on politics, by party identification over time

Party IDSurveyMainly politicsMainly the law
Republican9/3-13/193367
Republican9/8-15/203960
Republican7/16-26/212476
Republican9/7-16/213466
Republican11/1-10/212476
Independent9/3-13/193861
Independent9/8-15/203565
Independent7/16-26/212575
Independent9/7-16/213961
Independent11/1-10/213268
Democrat9/3-13/193565
Democrat9/8-15/203961
Democrat7/16-26/214060
Democrat9/7-16/214357
Democrat11/1-10/213367

Those who disapprove of the Court’s handling of its job are much more likely to say decisions are based on politics than are those who approve of the Court’s handling of its job. The percentage saying “mainly politics” or “mainly the law” has fluctuated over time, as shown in Table 18.

Table 18: Are justices’ decisions based mainly on the law or mainly on politics, by approval of the Court’s handling of its job, over time

Approval of CourtSurveyMainly politicsMainly the law
Approve9/8-15/202872
Approve7/16-26/211783
Approve9/7-16/212476
Approve11/1-10/211882
Disapprove9/8-15/205644
Disapprove7/16-26/214753
Disapprove9/7-16/215446
Disapprove11/1-10/214456

Changes to the Court

The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court, appointed by President Joe Biden, has recently held hearings and released draft reports on potential changes to the Court, including expansion of the number of justices, limiting the terms of justices, and possible limits on judicial review of acts of Congress, among other topics.

The work of the commission has been largely invisible to the general public. In the new poll, 45% say they’ve heard nothing at all about it, and 42% say they’ve heard only a little. Just 10% have heard a fair bit, and only 2% say they’ve heard a lot.

Since 2019, the Marquette Law School Supreme Court survey has asked about support for Court expansion, limiting the justices’ terms, and limiting judicial review (the latter two were not asked in July 2021). There has been little change in any of these opinions since 2019. Tables 19-21 show these trends for each of the potential changes. While a substantial majority has consistently supported limiting the current lifetime tenure, a smaller majority has opposed limiting judicial review of acts of Congress. Expansion of the number of justices has been the most evenly divided, but that divide has changed little since 2019.

Table 19: Favor or oppose increasing the number of justices on the Court

SurveyFavorOpposeSkipped/Ref
9/3-13/1942562
9/8-15/2046531
7/16-26/2148510
9/7-16/2148510
11/1-10/2148520

Table 20: Favor or oppose fixed terms for justices, rather than life terms, 2019-2021

SurveyFavorOpposeSkipped/Ref
9/3-13/1971281
9/8-15/2075241
9/7-16/2172270
11/1-10/2172270

Table 21: Favor or oppose limiting ability of the Court to review and set aside acts of Congress as unconstitutional (judicial review)

SurveyFavorOpposeSkipped/Ref
9/3-13/1937612
9/8-15/2041582
9/7-16/2140600
11/1-10/2143560

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The survey was conducted Nov. 1-10, 2021, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. Interviews were conducted using the SSRS Opinion Panel, a national probability sample with interviews conducted online. The detailed methodology statement, survey instrument, topline results, and crosstabs for this release are available at https://law.marquette.edu/poll/category/results-and-data/. Some items from this survey are held for later release.

Wording of questions about possible future Supreme Court decisions: These items do not attempt to exactly frame the particular issues in specific cases, but rather address the topic in more general terms.

Do you favor or oppose the following possible future Supreme Court decisions, or haven’t you heard enough about this to have an opinion? …

  • Overturn Roe versus Wade, thus striking down the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in all 50 states.
  • Rule that the 2nd Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.
  • Rule to uphold a state law that (except in cases of medical emergencies or fetal abnormalities) bans abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
  • Rule that the United States government has the right to bring suit in federal court to try to prohibit Texas Senate Bill 8, the law that bans almost all abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy, from being enforced.