President Trump and his adversaries mobilized on Sunday for an epic campaign-season showdown over the future of the Supreme Court, even as the nation prepared to honor the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an outdoor viewing to be held according to pandemic-era guidelines.
The president’s determination to confirm a replacement for Justice Ginsburg before the Nov. 3 election set lawmakers on a collision course with one another at a time when Congress already has major issues on its agenda, including spending bills to keep the government open past next week and a stalled coronavirus relief package to help millions of Americans left unemployed by the pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 people.
Undaunted by the prospect of such a volatile fall, Mr. Trump prepared to announce a nominee as early as Tuesday, in hopes of pressuring the Senate to ratify his choice before voters decide whether to give him a second term, and spoke multiple times with Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential challenger, on Sunday denounced Mr. Trump’s decision to move ahead with a nomination.
A new poll showed that the American public agrees with him and opposes Mr. Trump’s plan to rush a new justice onto the court. Of those surveyed by Reuters and Ipsos since Justice Ginsburg’s death, 62 percent said her seat should be filled by the winner of the November election, including the vast majority of Democrats and even half of Republicans.
One reason Mr. Trump may feel differently is the possibility that he may not be that winner. Mr. Biden has consistently led the president in polls for months, and a new survey released Sunday by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found the Democrat’s lead stable at 51 percent to 43 percent, essentially unchanged since before the two parties’ nominating conventions. Mr. Trump’s focus on law and order in recent weeks has not changed the overall dynamics of the race, and nine in 10 of those surveyed said their minds were firmly made up.