Harriet E. Miers's U.S. Supreme Court nominee is losing public support, according to a new poll that shows Americans oppose her confirmation by a margin of 43 percent to 42 percent.
Support for Miers has slipped since an earlier survey taken Oct. 13-16 when 44 percent said they favored confirmation and 36 percent opposed it. Both polls were conducted by the Gallup Organization for Cable News Network and USA Today.
Some conservative Republican senators continue to question Miers's qualifications and have asked the White House to give the Senate Judiciary Committee more information about her. Conservative activists say Miers has a thin record because she was never a judge.
"I need to see something that shows me she is decisive and competent and capable," said Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican. "I do have difficulty with this nominee."
Miers, 60, a former Dallas corporate lawyer, is scheduled today to submit more complete written answers to questions posed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will review her nomination. The panel also wants copies of memos she wrote, and President George W. Bush is refusing to disclose any confidential advice she gave him, reports Bloomberg.
The loudest opposition to Miers continues to come from conservative activists who wanted a nominee with a more established record than that of Miers, a Dallas lawyer now serving as White House counsel. They say President Bush missed an opportunity to appoint a conservative ideologue who could be an influential force on the nation's highest court.
Two groups have started Web sites urging Bush to withdraw her nomination. One of them will begin running a TV ad today. It begins, "Even the best leaders make mistakes. . . ."
The White House has shown no interest in withdrawing the nomination. President Bush has said he won't release internal documents written by Miers as a presidential aide, which puts him on a collision course with senators from both parties who want more information about her work.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said the White House needs to provide documents that show Miers' constitutional approach. "The record is pretty thin right now," he said, adding that "on overall judicial philosophy, she's really got to raise the comfort level around here."
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said that Republican senators have "a good bit of concern about the selection" and that the White House "ought to give all the documents they can that give us a better feel for her ability, her decisiveness, her competence."
Polls show Miers with tepid public support, far less than John Roberts had at a similar point after he was nominated for chief justice, informs St. Petersburg Times.