Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Frist Things Frist (Warning: Wonk Alert)

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2005 at 6:24 AM

New poll numbers from the Pew Research Center show why Bill Frist may be reluctant to pull the trigger on his procedural move to kill the filibuster on judicial nominations: There is little public interest in the issue, and what interest there is tends not to be particularly GOP-friendly.

Overall just 28% favor changing Senate rules to stop judicial filibusters, and looking only at Republican respondents that number rises to a mere 45%. Bush is seen as slightly more responsible (38%) for this situation than Democrats (34%). Relatively few people are even tuned in: Only 34% say they are following the filibuster issue "very closely" or "fairly closely." Among those who are paying attention, just 36% favor the rules change, and by a 46-39% margin they see Bush as the more responsible party for the judicial nomination flap.

Couple this with a presidential approval rating for W. that has now sunk to a new low of 43% in the Pew poll, and it's not hard to see why Frist and the GOP are a little less chipper than they were a few months ago.

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