Analysis: How Trump’s Supreme Court pick is politically risky

US President Donald Trump’s nomination Saturday of a new Supreme Court justice and his comments about voting integrity have already significantly altered the political discussion during the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

Trump, almost certainly, believes that shifting the focus away from the COVID-19 pandemic onto other issues that provoke political battles will boost his prospects.

But there is evidence to suggest that forcing these contentious topics into the conversation as Americans get ready to vote on November 3 might not result in the payoff he and Republicans are hoping for.

For instance, a Washington Post-ABC News poll out on Friday reveals that only 38 percent of Americans think Trump and the current Senate should confirm a new Supreme Court justice, while 57 percent say the decision should be left to the winner of the presidential election and the incoming Senate.

Aside from the argument over whether Trump is rushing to fill the vacancy, Democrats are clearly going to focus the discussion on three topics: abortion rights, healthcare and the coming conservative makeup of the court.

And on all three of those issues, Trump is facing some pretty stiff headwinds, according to recent polling.

Fulfilling a promise to his conservative Republican base, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, federal judge Amy Coney Barrett, is expected to be anti-abortion rights, striking fear in Democrats who worry that the top court’s Roe vs Wade decision that established a woman’s right to have an abortion is in peril if the court ends up with a 6-3 conservative majority.

Democrats, a large majority of whom support reproductive rights, are making sure this becomes a political rallying cry in the final 40 days of the campaign.

 

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