• Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

Wait or nominate? Many voters support doing what is best for their party, but for some, the court fight looms large.

In interviews with more than a dozen voters in battleground states on Friday night and Saturday morning, The Times found that Democratic and Republican voters were largely racing to partisan corners regarding how they think President Trump and Senate Republicans should proceed in filling the Supreme Court seat held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But among independent and undecided voters, there was less of a pattern: Some said they were still mulling how the coming fight over the court could tilt their thinking — and their decision about which presidential candidate to support.

In an interview Friday afternoon inside the clothing store where she was working in Bemidji, Minn., the city where Mr. Trump held a rally later Friday night, Rachel Harris, 19, indicated that she was undecided about who to vote for in November.

But after hearing the news about Justice Ginsburg, Ms. Harris emailed Friday night to say she had made up her mind.

“I will be voting for Biden,” she wrote before raising the issue of abortion rights. “I care about my rights, and they will be taken away if Trump continues to be president.”

Brendan Tanner, a 23-year-old independent voter in Peoria, Ariz., was among those with a mixed mind. Mr. Tanner said he was leaning toward voting for Mr. Trump, but was also considering sitting out the election because he sees deep flaws in both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden. And if Mr. Trump were to press forward with a court nomination, it would only add to his list of grievances with the president.

Mr. Tanner said it wouldn’t be “fair” to “sneak” in a Supreme Court pick with less than two months to go before the election.

“When you’re talking about a Supreme Court justice who is going to serve until they want to quit or until the end of their life, that’s a huge decision that’s going to affect generations — and that’s something that needs to be considered very carefully,” he said. “I think it should wait.”

But both Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Biden’s most fervent supporters were less circumspect.

On one side, there were Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters like Merrill Tufts, 51, of Winterville, N.C., and Lucila Flores, 61, of Phoenix who insisted that any move to replace Justice Ginsburg this close to the election would be inappropriate and politically motivated.

“This is called imposing your will on somebody and your party upon the people,” Mr. Tufts, a retired Marine said.

But Mr. Trump’s supporters found little to be gained from delaying. His 2016 victory and the Republican majority in the Senate, they said, amounts to a use-it-or-lose-it proposition they could risk not having after the election.

Waiting for shuttle buses after attending the president’s rally in Bemidji, voter after voter said Mr. Trump should act quickly to seat a new justice.

Laurie Christianson of Moorhead, Minn., offered straightforward advice: “Do it now.”