After the Supreme Court’s questions about the constitutionality of Obamacare and after Obama’s attack on the Supreme Court the public sides with the Supreme Court!
Monday, April 09, 2012
Just before the highly publicized hearing on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, ratings for the U.S. Supreme Court had fallen to the lowest level ever measured by Rasmussen Reports. Now, following the hearings, approval of the court is way up.
Forty-one percent (41%) of Likely U.S. Voters now rate the Supreme Court’s performance as good or excellent, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s up 13 points from 28% in mid-March and is the court’s highest ratings in two-and-a-half years.
Nineteen percent (19%) still rate the court’s work record as poor, unchanged from last month. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
It is impossible to know if the improved perceptions of the court came from the hearings themselves, President Obama’s comments cautioning the court about overturning a law passed by Congress, or from other factors. Approval of the court had fallen in three consecutive quarterly surveys prior to the health care hearings.
The partisan turnaround in views of the court is noticeable. Three weeks ago, 29% of Republicans gave the Supreme Court positive marks for its job performance; now that number has climbed to 54%. Similarly, among voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties, good or excellent ratings for the court have increased from 26% in mid-March to 42% now. Democrats’ views of the court are largely unchanged.
Among all voters, 28% now think the Supreme Court is too liberal, 29% say it’s too conservative, and 31% believe the ideological balance is about right. The number who view the court as too liberal is down five points from a month ago.
This national survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on April 6-7, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The last time the court’s good or excellent ratings were in the 40s was in October 2009 when 43% ranked it that way. That was the start of the court’s first session with Justice Sonya Sotomayor, Obama’s first nominee to the high court. At that time, 58% of Democrats shared a positive view of the court’s performance, but just 33% of both Republicans and unaffiliated voters agreed.
Data released earlier showed that only 15% of voters think the high court puts too many limitations on what the federal government can do. Twice as many (30%) believe the Supreme Court does not limit the government enough. Forty percent (40%) say the balance is about right, while 15% more are undecided.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of Republicans still think the high court is too liberal, but that’s down from 56% three weeks ago. Unaffiliated voters are now more inclined to see the court as too conservative. But Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliateds all view the court as more balanced than they did in the previous survey.
There’s been a little change in Political Class attitudes toward the court as well. Ten percent (10%) of these voters view its performance as poor now, compared to three percent (3%) in March. But they also give it slightly higher positives, too, with 43% who now rate its work as good or excellent. Among Mainstream voters, 41% think the court is doing a good or excellent job versus 23% who felt that way three weeks ago.