While congressional committee hearings are rarely the stuff of water cooler conversations, the testimony of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday proved a rare exception: the latest SurveyMonkey polling for Axios shows that better than half of Americans (53 percent) report having conversations about the Kavanaugh nomination at work, and nearly three out of four (74 percent) talking about it with friends and family.
On the cusp of his confirmation vote, Kavanaugh has 45 percent of Americans who approve of his nomination and 50 percent who disapprove, barely changed from 44 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval in early September. Whereas other aspects of politics have been taboo at work and, in some cases, at home, tens of millions of people were watching the hearing last week. The proceedings, which took place during work hours, had many people fixated on the accusations against Kavanaugh and subsequently got people talking. Broaching the topic of the SCOTUS nominee and sexual assault accusations at work AND at home might make for a self-selecting echo chamber where people are willing to share how they think and feel more freely.
- Echo Chamber Effect at Play -- or is the Real World Just Different from the Twitter-Verse?
- Discussion at Work. Half (53 percent, and 22 percent “A lot”) of the American public is talking about his nomination in the workplace. Men and women workers alike are broaching the topic at work. Nearly identical shares of Republicans and Democrats alike are talking about this at work (57 and 56 percent, respectively), independents to a lesser degree (44 percent). By far, the no. 1 cited characterization of these conversations is “civil discussion” (76 percent overall) regardless of gender, age, education level, or party ID.
- Discussion at Home. Greater shares of people are discussing the nomination at home with family or friends (74 percent overall, 34 percent “a lot”). These talks are also mostly described as “civil” (78 percent overall).
- Using Your Words. Not all conversation around this topic has amounted to civil discourse. For 27 percent at work and 28 percent at home, conflict, arguments, and or tears resulted from these discussions. (Respondents could select multiple characterizations that applied to their discussions.) Younger Americans experienced these things more so than their older counterparts (37 percent at work, 40 percent at home).
Read more from Axios on the topic here.
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: