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GOP hopes Supreme Court nomination will help at the polls

James Antle of the Washington Examiner highlights Republicans’ hopes for a political boost from the confirmation hearings surrounding Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Republicans are hopeful that this week’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will help them turn the page on President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and other news that has left the party behind in the polls.

“She is a star, and we’re confident that will shine through,” said a Republican close to the hearings.

“The Supreme Court hearings and the fact that Trump is going on the campaign trail can help Republicans create renewed momentum in the final weeks before the election,” said GOP strategist Ron Bonjean.

Barrett’s turn in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which began Monday, comes as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden faces increasing scrutiny over his refusal to say whether he would support legislation to add more liberal justices by expanding the Supreme Court. A recent Washington Examiner/YouGov poll found the public was opposed to the idea, and reporters have grown irritated with the Democratic ticket’s evasiveness when asked about it.

Biden has dismissed court-packing as a Trump-generated distraction. He said last week that voters will “know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over. It’s a great question, and I don’t blame you for asking it, but you know the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that.”

“He’s refusing to answer about whether he’s going to pack the Supreme Court, upending 150 years of our judicial standards,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.

At the same time, a Morning Consult poll found rising support for Barrett’s nomination. A plurality backs her confirmation, 46% to 37%, up 9 percentage points from a previous survey. Democratic support is up 10 points to 24%. …

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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