Broad Support for Sotomayor's Supreme Court Confirmation

GROUPS: Sotomayor, who'd be the first Hispanic justice, enjoys prodigious support from minorities: Seventy-eight percent want her confirmed, compared with 57 percent of whites. (The sample size of Hispanics is too small in this poll for separate analysis.)

At the same time, her support is nearly the same among women and men, 63 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

Views on the judge divide starkly along party lines. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats want her confirmed (peaking at 86 percent of liberal Democrats), compared with 36 percent of Republicans (and just 21 percent of conservative Republicans). Independents line up on her side, with 64 percent support.

Similarly, Republicans are more likely to think Sotomayor's race and ethnicity affect her decision-making, and to think it's a bad thing. Forty-nine percent of Republicans see this influence, and by 4-1 they think it's a bad thing; among conservative Republicans it's 59 percent, and 9-1 negative.

Abortion a Question Mark

Far fewer Democrats, 33 percent, think Sotomayor's race and ethnicity influence the way she decides cases, and they, by a 2-1 margin, think this is good.

By contrast, there are no partisan differences in views of whether Sotomayor's sex plays a role in her judicial decisions – although Republicans who say yes are more apt to think that's a bad thing.

METHODOLOGY: This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone June 18-21, 2009, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results for the full sample have a 3.5-point error margin; click here for a detailed description of sampling error. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

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