Donald Trump

Many Unsure About Truth of Ford's Allegation Against Kavanaugh, Will Pay Attention to Senate Hearing: Poll

The poll found that 42 percent of Americans are unsure if they believe Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford

What to Know

  • About 59 percent say Brett Kavanaugh should not be confirmed by the Senate if Christine Ford's allegations prove true
  • Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify on their accounts of the alleged incident on Thursday
  • 58 percent of Americans said they plan to pay attention to those proceedings

Many Americans are unsure if they believe Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or the first woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, according to a new poll that also shows a majority are planning to tune into this week's high-stakes Senate hearing on the allegations.

The poll from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist found 42 percent of Americans are unsure if they believe Kavanaugh, 32 percent believe Ford's story to be credible, while 26 percent believe Kavanaugh's story. 

And with Ford and Kavanaugh set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, 58 percent of Americans said they plan to pay attention to those proceedings, which will include an outside, female counsel brought in by the committee. 

Nearly six in 10 Americans (59 percent) say Kavanaugh should not be confirmed by the Senate if Ford's allegations prove true. In all, 43 percent of Americans oppose his nomination, while 38 percent support him. Nineteen percent remain on the fence.

Many Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have been steadfast in their support of the nominee.

On Tuesday, Trump decried allegations against Kavanaugh as a Democratic "con job," while also taking aim at a second woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct over the weekend by saying she "has nothing." 

Deborah Ramirez, a former college classmate, alleged in a story published by The New Yorker that Kavanaugh caused her to touch his penis at a party when they were both students at Yale. He has denied that allegation.

Ramirez's attorney, John Clune, said his client stood by the New Yorker story and said he and the Senate Judiciary Committee were trying to decide how to provide more information to the panel, according to The Associated Press.

He said an FBI investigation — which Democrats have also sought for Ford and Trump and Republicans have blocked — "is the only way to get the truth."

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh trapped her beneath him on a bed during a house party in high school while drunk and tried to take her clothes off before she escaped. Kavanaugh has also denied the allegation, which led to Thursday's hearing.

"I have never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr. Ford," Kavanaugh said in a Fox News interview Monday. "I've never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise."

Trump selected Kavanaugh as his nominee to fill Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat. Kennedy stepped down from the court in July. Allegations of sexual misconduct that followed Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings have set off a contentious debate between Democrats and Republicans. 

The poll was conducted Sept. 22 through Sept. 24 and focuses on Ford's allegations. Ramirez came forward in a New Yorker story that was published on the evening of Sept. 23.   

Results from the poll show that nearly half of American women, 47 percent, oppose Kavanaugh's nomination, while 45 percent of men support it. 

According to the poll, about one-third of men — 32 percent — believe Kavanaugh's account, while 28 percent believe Ford's. Thirty-five percent of women said they believe Ford's account, while 20 percent believe Kavanaugh. 

NPR said 997 adults were interviewed after being contacted by landline or cellphone. Overall results had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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