My intuition that there is little political gain to be had with Court appointments is reinforced by this story during the filibuster of the Miguel Estrada nomination, which reinforces my perception about the low salience of these sort of political questions regarding the courts:
Mr. Bendixen's poll found that 28 percent of Hispanics support the nomination, while 11 percent opposed it and 61 percent weren't aware of the nomination or didn't have an opinion.
He said that, based on listening to some of the poll interviews, it was clear many of those who supported Mr. Estrada were also confusing him with actor Erik Estrada, who was on the 1977-1983 television police drama "CHiPS" and is now a popular Spanish-language soap-opera star.
"Many of them think President Bush nominated Erik Estrada — I'd say a good third think that way," Mr. Bendixen said, adding that he heard one person say Mr. Estrada should be confirmed because he did such a good job playing a policeman on "CHiPS."
Republicans' own numbers confirm that most Hispanics aren't aware of the situation. A poll released last week of 800 Hispanics, taken by Alexandria-based Latino Opinions and not limited to registered voters, showed that just one-third were aware the Estrada nomination is pending and being blocked.
I suspect that the American public in general was even less aware of all this than those in the poll (of course, most Americans probably couldn't recall either Erik or Miguel). Of course, the Supreme Court is much higher-profile in the public's perception, but it does raise doubt in my mind about the likely political impact of such an appointment on Hispanic voters.