Support for Roberts' confirmation is far lower among those who'd liked to have seen a woman nominated (35 percent in this group say he should be confirmed) than among those who aren't disappointed, among whom 73 percent favor confirmation.
O'Connor herself, while calling Roberts "first rate," said she was "disappointed, in a sense, to see the percentage of women on our court drop by 50 percent."
There are fascinating divisions on the issue of original intent versus current understanding of the Constitution. Most older adults favor a reading based on original intent, by 57 percent-41 percent; but most young adults prefer a current reading, by 61 percent-37 percent. Democrats and liberals broadly prefer a current understanding; conservatives and Republicans (albeit to a somewhat lesser extent) prefer original intent.
There are religion- and issue-based differences as well. Evangelical Protestants prefer original intent by about 2-1, while Catholics prefer a current view of the Constitution by as broad a margin. People who want Roe overturned are more apt to favor original intent; those who want it upheld prefer a current reading of the founding document.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone July 21, 2005, among a random national sample of 500 adults. The results have a 4.5-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.