Kavanaugh and Ford: Americans Are Undecided on Who’s Telling the Truth

September 26, 2018, 2:22 PM UTC

Americans are divided over whether they believe Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or his accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

That’s according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which found that 42% are unsure who to believe. While just 26% believe Kavanaugh, the share of people who believe Ford is not much higher at 32%.

But this does mark a shift from Anita Hill’s 1991 allegation of sexual misconduct against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. At the time, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 40% believed Thomas compared to just 24% in support of Hill.

A majority of those polled care about the matter, with 58% saying they plan to follow Thursday’s hearing and the ensuing process closely or very closely.

The data is particularly telling when balancing Ford’s allegation with whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Fifty-nine percent of those polled overall believe that if Ford’s allegation is true, Kavanaugh should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a majority of Republicans are indifferent to the veracity of Ford’s claim—54% believe that Kavanaugh should be confirmed even if Ford’s allegations are true.

Independent to whether Ford is telling the truth, however, 43% oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination, while 38% support it.

But Kavanaugh’s nomination carries weight for voters beyond the Supreme Court bench: 37% of those polled said that they are more likely to vote for someone in November who opposes Kavanaugh’s nomination. Meanwhile, 32% say they would support someone who is in favor of his nomination, and 27% claim Kavanaugh’s nomination makes no difference to their voting choices.