New polling data shows that many Americans believe survivors like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—and far fewer believe Brett Kavanaugh.
Much has been debated over the last week about the credibility of Blasey Ford, who came forward in September to publicly allege that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in high school. The President himself has insinuated that she’s a liar; Kavanaugh insinuated that she was part of a “political hit job” against him. But since she told her story to The Washington Post, more women have come forward with similar allegations, and advocates and activists across the country have taken to social media and the streets to urge Senators to #BelieveSurvivors and #CancelKavanaugh.
According to a national poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday, more people believe Blasey Ford than the Supreme Court nominee. These results were echoed Wednesday by an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said Ford is telling the truth. Only 33 percent said the same about Kavanaugh. Voters today believe Ford is honest by a wide margin—59 to 25 percent—and in numbers much higher than those who believe Kavanaugh to be telling the truth, and nearly half of Americans are now opposed to his confirmation.
Support for Blasey Ford in these polls has gone up from a reported 32 percent ahead of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week in which she recalled the night she claims Kavanaugh pulled her into a bedroom at a party, held her down, put his hand over her mouth and tried to rape her. Before those hearings, more independent voters supported confirming Kavanugh; afterward, the majority declared they were opposed to his confirmation.
There are also large gender and racial gaps in the data: 49 percent of men support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, whereas 55 percent of women oppose it; 51 percent of self-identified white voters support confirming Kavanaugh, while 81 and 65 percent of self-identified Black and Hispanic voters, respectively, oppose doing so.
This data only bolsters the demands of feminist activists who have been pushing Senators to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination amid mounting sexual assault allegations against him and in the wake of his dismissive and disrespectful remarks before the Judiciary Committee.
“Our senators represent us,” a woman at a recent Los Angeles protest against Kavanaugh’s nomination reminded the crowd. “They work for us.” With more voters opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation than ever, and the midterm elections—expected to be fueled by the power of the #MeToo movement and a feminist backlash to the Trump administration’s misogynist agenda—right around the corner, the pressure facing lawmakers to do right by survivors is as high as ever.
Feminists now are delivering a final, urgent call to Senators in every state and from each party to speak for the constituents they represent and show their solidarity with survivors of sexual violence. They’ll be watching the final vote closely—and, likely, waiting to see if justice will come now or have to wait until survivors and their allies step into the voting booth in November.
Miranda Martin is a feminist writer and activist and an editorial intern at Ms. She has written for a variety of publications and been published by The Unedit and Project Consent. Miranda recently graduated from University of Wisconsin La Crosse with a major in Interpersonal Communications and a double minor in Creative Writing and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She loves to travel, read, exercise and daydream about the fall of the patriarchy.
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