Forty percent of Americans rate President Obama's choice of Solictor General Elena Kagan to be his Supreme Court nominee as good or excellent, 22 percent say it is "only fair" and 14 percent call it poor, according to an "immediate-reaction" poll
conducted May 10 by Gallup. Twenty-four percent were undecided.
That's not as positive an initial reaction to Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's first nominee, whose selection was seen as good or excellent by 47 percent, only fair by 29 percent and poor by 13 percent.
It's markedly below the 51 percent percent who regarded former President Bush's choice of Chief Justice John Roberts as good or excellent.
"Kagan's 40 percent combined excellent/good ratings are technically the lowest Gallup has measured, but this comparatively lower positive evaluation is tied to the fact that Americans are less likely to express an opinion about her (24 percent) than they were for the four prior nominees (with an average of 17 percent "no opinion")," Gallup said.
There was a predictable partisan divide with 63 percent of Democrats calling the choice good or excellent compared to 18 percent of Republicans (36 percent called it "poor.") Thirty five percent of independents gave the choice positive marks with 26 percent regarding it as "only fair" and 10 percent as poor.
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