This polling information from Gallup is worth a read by anyone seriously interested in who the next nominee will be. In the poll results, one question asked for the respondents' "Initial Reaction to Miers' Withdrawal." The data broke down as follows:
- Of conservatives, 34% were "pleased;" 44% were "disappointed."
The poll also asked for the reactions of moderates and liberals to Miers' withdrawal:
- Of moderates, 45% were "pleased;" 33% were "disappointed."
- 55% of liberals were "pleased;" 25% were disappointed."
The pattern of these responses follows typical lines. Conservatives and Republicans are most likely to be disappointed. This suggests rank-and-file conservatives may have been less negative about the nomination than highly visible conservative pundits and columnists. [Emphasis added.]
Still, only 44% of conservatives describe themselves as disappointed with the withdrawal, while 34% are pleased (more than one in five conservatives didn't have an opinion in response to this question).
So much for the notion that "the American people" wanted Miers to withdraw. It doesn't even seem that a majority of American conservatives wanted that to happen. So if you're a conservative who thinks that because you supported the Miers nomination, you might have been out of step with the majority of conservatives, think again.
Another set of data address this important question: Why were some people pleased that Miers withdrew? The answers are surprising: Only8% thought her views were too conservative; a tiny 4% felt her views were not conservative enough; a whopping 49% thought she lacked the necessary qualifications; and 35% thought she was too close to Bush personally.
Keep in mind, we're talking here about the people who were pleased Miers withdrew. The analysis notes, "Few of those who are pleased by the withdrawal say it was either because Miers was too conservative or because she was not conservative enough." So if you think the conservative opposition to Miers was because she was not considered ideologically "one of us," think again.
People (like me) who got their information about Miers only from the blogosphere and the punditocracy generally would never have guessed that the public has the views laid out above. There's a lesson in there somewhere about assuming the blogosphere is always representative of Americans' views.
So what does this mean? I think it still very important now to move forward and and put the recent intra-family battle behind us; I'm more and more ready to do that with each passing hour. Mr. President, bring on a solid judicial conservative! But as the president rolls out his next nominee, we need to have a firm grip on reality and where the American public seems to be, and what they might be willing to fight for (or what kind of a fight they might be willing to stand for).