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Michigan voters split on Kavanaugh appointment, poll finds

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News
President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Michigan voters are split on President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new statewide survey.

The poll conducted last week of 600 likely voters found that voters were statistically divided on Kavanaugh with 36 percent in support, 39 percent opposed and 25 percent undecided. The survey for The Detroit News and WDIV had a margin of error of plus-minus 4 percentage points.

Most Democrats strongly opposed Kavanaugh's selection, and most Republicans strongly supported the pick, according to the survey. Independent voters were largely divided. 

"This looks like a more traditional poll question in Michigan where you have Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other, and a split down the middle of independents," said Richard Czuba, who conducted the poll for the Lansing-based Glengariff Group Inc. 

"There are probably a lot of people tangentially looking at this, and I think what they’re hearing is a lot of Republican vs. Democrat, and that likely splits them in half."

A District of Columbia native, Kavanaugh, 53, has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for 12 years and previously served as an aide to President George W. Bush.

Trump nominated him on July 9 to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court, and senators last week held his confirmation hearing in Washington. 

Kavanaugh was chosen over federal appeals Judge Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, who was among the finalists considered. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, plans to hold a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh by Oct. 1, ahead of the court's new term, his office said this week.

Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both Democrats, have said they plan to vote no on Kavanaugh's confirmation.