WASHINGTON — Just 1 in 4 people thinks Brett Kavanaugh was completely honest when he heatedly rebuffed charges of sexual assault and heavy drinking during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and Republicans and Democrats hold starkly divergent views of whether his sworn testimony to senators was credible, a poll released Friday showed.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey also found that the public was unimpressed by how major players handled the extraordinary battle, which culminated Oct. 6 in a near party-line confirmation of Kavanaugh by an exhausted Senate. President Trump, Senate Republicans and Democrats and the FBI each earned approval from a third or less of the poll’s respondents.

Overall, the survey provides detail about how a deeply polarized nation regards the conduct and outcome of the searing Kavanaugh battle, just weeks before Nov. 6 midterm elections in which Republican control of the House and perhaps the Senate are at stake. Republicans hope partisan tensions heightened by the fight will drive conservative voters to the polls to counteract the white-hot enthusiasm already shown by Democrats motivated by their antipathy toward Trump. Thirty-nine percent said they believe Kavanaugh was mostly honest but hiding something when he testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the drama’s most unforgettable day. Another 31 percent said he was largely lying, and 25 percent said he was totally truthful. A combative Kavanaugh denied California college professor Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony to the panel that he sexually assaulted her at a 1980s high school gathering when they were teenagers, and he rebutted classmates’ descriptions of him as a heavy drinker.

A breakdown of how people answered that question shows how stances over the bitter confirmation battle are deeply colored by people’s political allegiances and less so by gender.

Six in 10 Republicans, including roughly even proportions of men and women, said they think Kavanaugh was entirely truthful when he appeared before the Judiciary panel.

Fewer than 1 in 10 Democrats, men and women, said they think Kavanaugh was fully candid during his appearance. Just over half said he was mostly lying while the rest said he was largely truthful.


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