I'd call these polling outcomes bad news for the White House, but it's been clear for quite some time that this president and his band of hardened ideologues stopped caring about public opinion as soon as his re-election was in-hand. (Sorry, other Democrats). From Obamacare, to immigration orders, to Guantanamo Bay, to the Iran deal, to Syrian refugees and beyond, Barack Obama has charged full speed ahead, public opinion be damned. That may not hurt him very much -- although his approval rating has slumped back to 40 percent -- but it is likely a source of consternation for Hillary Clinton, who has no choice but to run for Obama's third term. This week, she's advanced the classic End of Discussion argument that Republican opposition to Obama selecting Justice Scalia's replacement highlights a nihilistic, unique form of opposition that must have a racial component. This is nonsense, belied by Clinton and Obama's own history of obstructing Republican appointees. Republicans are right to keep a third Obama nominee off of the High Court, based on ample precedent, Democrats' habitual conduct, and the fact that Americans are already in the process of picking a new president. For GOP Senators who may feel pressured to lose their resolve on this front, two new polls show that Americans are split straight down the middle on this question:
Just like the NBC/WSJ poll, CBS News survey shows Americans split evenly on timing of filling SCOTUS vacancy: https://t.co/9zOEv3Vy1f— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 18, 2016
We reported the NBC/WSJ poll results last night (the split was 43/42), and CBS News' fresh survey measures a breakdown of 47/46. In the former poll, roughly half of respondents said the Senate should vote on, but not necessarily confirm, Obama's pick. The other half said the process should unfold after a new president is inaugurated. In the latter poll, the question was framed to ask who should appoint the new justice. As Ed Morrissey concludes, "blocking the appointment is clearly not an extreme position at all. Republicans in the Senate should look at these results carefully and take heed." Yessir. Clinton has also strongly defended the administration's nuclear deal with Iran, bragging that she laid the groundwork for the agreement during her tenure at the State Department. That accord confers legitimacy upon the anti-American regime's nuclear program, abandons several crucial US pre-negotiation "red lines," features an insufficient inspections regime, and by Obama's own admission, virtually guarantees that Iran will be a threshold nuclear-armed state when the deal's restrictions automatically expire over the the next decade-and-a-half. Tehran has kept on provoking and violating international obligations after the deal was implemented (but never formally signed), engaging in continued suspicious behavior and flagrant violations. Their material support for terrorism is undiminished. A newly-released Gallup survey shows that the public has not warmed -- at all -- to this Obama/Clinton "accomplishment:"
The agreement is underwater by 27 points, almost exactly the same margin Quinnipiac measured last September. Gallup's findings show that Republicans overwhelmingly reject the agreement, with independents breaking solidly against it, too. Only Democrats support the plan, by a relatively narrow 13-point spread.