- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The country is split on whether the Senate should approve President Obama’s pick to the Supreme Court or wait until after the election and a new president, according to a new poll Wednesday afternoon that does little to settle the fight in Washington.

The survey by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found 43 percent say the Senate should vote this year on his as-yet unnamed pick, with 42 percent saying the Senate should leave the position vacant until after the election, giving a new president a chance.

That suggests an opening for Republicans, who have been struggling with how to handle the vacancy left by the death last weekend of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Mr. Obama has said that with 11 months left in his term, not only should he get to nominate someone, but the Senate should approve it — even though the chamber is controlled by Republicans likely to reject the judicial leanings of whomever he taps.

Some Republicans have said Mr. Obama shouldn’t even bother sending a nominee to Congress, while others say the president can send whomever he wants. But the GOP is in agreement that Mr. Obama’s pick is unlikely to be confirmed.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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