“The Democrats should just try to do anything they can,” said Dan Schley, a 62-year-old real estate appraiser from Milwaukee. “They have a very weak position, because everything’s in the Senate. It’s a scary time.”
Mr. Schley and other progressives interviewed Saturday bemoaned what they viewed as the disintegration of American political comity. Trump-backed Republicans vying to win power at any cost, including with the court appointment, they said, threatens the entire American experiment.
“The ethical ground into which they dug their heels four years ago in refusing to hold hearings on Merrick Garland will almost certainly be abandoned,” Mary Utz, a 29-year-old psychotherapist from Minneapolis, said of Republicans. “They will simply change the rules. Protecting against this erosion of fairness is precisely why Justice Ginsburg fought to survive as long as she could.”
Mr. Trump’s supporters found little to be gained from waiting. His 2016 victory and the Republican majority in the Senate, they said, amounts to a use-it-or-lose-it proposition, with the party’s political power set to expire after the Nov. 3 election.
Ken Licari, a 53-year-old Republican from the Detroit suburb of Chesterfield Township, Mich., said he sees the inherent hypocrisy in the proposition of Mr. McConnell advancing a vote on Justice Ginsburg’s replacement. But that’s OK with Mr. Licari, a Macomb County man who works in logistics for the Department of Defense.
“Absolutely, it’s hypocritical,” he said. “But it will be good for the Republican Party and good for America.”
And, waiting for shuttle buses outside Mr. Trump’s Bemidji rally Friday night, Trump supporters overwhelmingly said he should act quickly to claim a signal victory. Laurie Christianson, who drove two hours from her home in Moorhead, Minn., offered simple and pointed advice for Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans: “Do it now.”
Reid J. Epstein reported from Washington and Matt Stevens reported from New York. Jonathan Martin contributed reporting from Bemidji, Minn., Jon Hurdle from Philadelphia, Hank Stephenson from Tucson, Ariz., Kathleen Gray from Lake Orion, Mich., Matt Furber from Minneapolis, Kay Nolan from Brookfield, Wis., and Tom Kertscher from Wauwatosa, Wis.