Poll: Few voters think Sotomayor is a ‘racist,’ majority say she’s qualified

Only eight percent of Americans agree with Tom Tancredo that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor “is a racist,” according to a non-partisan poll released Friday. A majority ranks “empathy” as important for a Supreme Court justice and an even bigger majority says Sotomayor is qualified for the high court.

The results, The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent writes, “strongly suggests that the two main right-wing talking points about Sonia Sotomayor are a bust.”

Despite a barrage of attacks by Tancredo, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and others characterizing Sotomayor as a racist, voters aren’t buying it, according to a telephone poll of 2,400 adults conducted by Research 2000 for Daily Kos.

Even among Republicans, only 19 percent think the federal judge, who would be the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court, is a racist.

Among Latinos surveyed, only two percent say Sotomayor is a racist — within the poll’s margin of error — and 83 percent say she isn’t.

Here are the results for all adults surveyed:

Based on what you know or have heard about Sonia Sotomayor do you think she is a racist?
YES 8 percent
NO 61 percent
NOT SURE 31 percent

Do you think empathy is an important characteristic for a Supreme Court Justice to possess or not?
YES 52 percent
NO 29 percent
NOT SURE 19 percent

Based on what you know or have heard about Sonia Sotomayor do you think she is qualified to become Supreme Court Justice or not?
YES 54 percent
NO 26 percent
NOT SURE 20 percent

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