Progressive activists who oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination are armed with internal polling that they believe shows swing-state voters in battleground states can be convinced that Gorsuch should not be confirmed.

The Washington Examiner obtained a detailed Hart Research Associates survey and two-page summary distributed by the Alliance for Justice, a liberal group pushing Senate Democrats to oppose Gorsuch. The research was sent to “interested parties.”

The summary of the poll, which was conducted Feb. 1-3 in 10 states represented by a Democratic senator that President Trump won, said there is “limited initial support for Gorsuch.” That creates an opportunity for Democrats to convince voters in these states that he would not represent average working men and women’s views in the Supreme Court.

The summary from Hart pollsters Geoff Garin and Guy Molyneux argued that Gorsuch is receiving support from far less than a majority of battleground voters in those 10 states.

“Just 42 percent say the Senate should confirm Neil Gorsuch, while 58 percent either oppose confirmation or are not yet ready to decide,” they wrote. “Significantly, once voters learn a bit more about Neil Gorsuch’s record and philosophy, opposition to his confirmation doubles, while support is virtually unchanged.”

After hearing arguments both for and against the nominee, battleground voters divide even on the confirmation, 44-44 percent, the poll found. People who are initially undecided later reject Gorsuch by an “overwhelming” 59-14.

“While many Democrats and independents are withholding judgment in these early days, the survey findings suggest that the coming debate will move most of them to opposition,” they concluded.

Liberal activists are circulating the research to ease some of the pressure on red-state and swing-state Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018, who may be worried that a vote against the well-qualified nominee could alienate independent voters.

With Republicans controlling 52 Senate seats, they need eight Democrats to vote with them to advance Gorsuch’s nomination to a final vote.

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, is already targeting 14 Senate Democrats in 13 states with ads aimed at highlighting the importance of their vote on the Supreme Court nominee.

The ads will focus on ratcheting up the pressure on Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

The vulnerable Democrats can take some solace that voters in their states appear to want the Senate to take some time to fully vet Gorsuch’s qualifications and judicial philosophy, instead of rushing the nomination through.

“By a commanding 43 points, [battleground voters] say the Senate should ‘take the time needed to carefully review the nominee’s qualifications and judicial philosophy before confirming a lifetime appointment,” the memo stated.

The poll also pushed back on the widely held GOP belief that Gorsuch’s qualifications are so impeccable that vulnerable Democrats in swing or red states who vote against him could pay a political price for it.

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“If a senator concludes that Trump’s nominees cannot be counted on to protect [working individuals’] rights, a large majority of voters say it is then acceptable for the senator to oppose confirmation – even if the nominee is professionally qualified to serve on the Supreme Court,” the poll found.

“Six in 10 (60%) say a senator may vote no if he believes the nominee would consistently vote to weaken legal protections for civil rights, the environment, workers’ rights, consumer safety, and women’s rights, despite having the professional qualifications to serve,” the poll found.

Read the poll here:

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