Democrats have a greater shot than ever at profitable again the Home majority with 30 days to go earlier than the midterm elections, however have seen their slender shot of taking again the Senate erode amid the controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s affirmation to the Supreme Courtroom.
The Kavanaugh saga has dominated politics for a fortnight, energizing partisans in each events. Whereas nobody may be sure how the subsequent 4 weeks will play out, the combat appears prone to harm Republicans additional with the suburban feminine voters seen as pivotal in lots of toss-up Home districts.
However there are indicators that the combat over Kavanaugh’s nomination has helped Republicans shut a large enthusiasm hole with Democrats, who’ve to this point held the sting in momentum.
The Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee noticed a 279-percent spike in donations in the primary week of October in comparison with the identical interval in September. The group didn’t present a greenback determine for the haul.
And a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll launched on Wednesday confirmed Democrats main Republicans in voter enthusiasm by solely 2 factors, down from 10 factors in July.
“The Republican Occasion does three issues: reduce taxes, kill terrorists and make sure judges,” stated Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the N (NRCC), the GOP’s Home marketing campaign arm.
“After we do this, we hearth up our base and enchantment to independents. We’re about to face voters having carried out all three.”
That rising enthusiasm is a priority for Democrats. As early as a number of weeks in the past that they had seen a slender path to retake the Senate, the place Republicans maintain a slender 51-49 majority, however these prospects look like dwindling.
Voters angered over the therapy of Kavanaugh look like shifting towards the GOP’s Senate candidates in deeply pink states the place President TrumpDonald John TrumpKavanaugh supporters drink beer to celebrate his confirmation Chelsea Handler on Kavanaugh confirmation: ‘We are stronger than this bullshit’ Gubernatorial candidate Kobach connects 9/11 to immigration MORE is extra well-liked, together with North Dakota, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
Kavanaugh was confirmed to Supreme Courtroom on Saturday, ending days of acrimony within the Senate after three ladies got here ahead to accuse the decide of sexual misconduct, although he has strongly denied the accusations.
The vote marks a key victory for Republicans, whose base rallied round Kavanaugh, believing the decide was the sufferer of a partisan smear marketing campaign.
Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump, GOP aim to weaponize Kavanaugh vote ahead of November McConnell: Senate GOP ‘refused to be intimidated by the mob’ The winners and losers of the Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ky.) on Saturday hailed the affirmation of Kavanaugh as a serious increase to Senate Republican candidates in the midterms.
For Republicans, the most important increase can be in a sequence of aggressive Senate races, as Democrats should defend 10 seats in states Trump gained in 2016, primarily in North Dakota, Indiana and West Virginia.
In North Dakota, two recent polls confirmed Sen. Heitkamp (D) trailing her GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Hill’s Morning Report — Historic vote on Kavanaugh to come amid protests, anger Heitkamp releases ad explaining Kavanaugh no vote Optimistic Republicans cancel North Dakota ads MORE (N.D.), by 10- and 12-point margins.
And regardless of polling displaying strong support for Kavanaugh in a state that President Trump gained by practically 36 factors, Heitkamp voted against confirming Kavanaugh, saying the Senate testimony of certainly one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, had been a key think about her determination.
In Indiana, Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyTrump, GOP aim to weaponize Kavanaugh vote ahead of November The winners and losers of the Supreme Court fight McConnell: Kavanaugh win ‘a shot of adrenaline’ for GOP midterm chances MORE, one other susceptible Democrat in a pink state, additionally opposed the decide within the closing affirmation vote in a state the place polling has proven a decent race.
A current Fox Information ballot confirmed Donnelly main his Republican challenger Mike Braun by solely 2 factors – nicely throughout the survey’s margin of error.
However one other susceptible red-state Democrat, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump connects Kavanaugh confirmation to midterm elections Trump, GOP aim to weaponize Kavanaugh vote ahead of November Daines’s son shares video of father watching Kavanaugh vote MORE (W.Va.), broke celebration ranks when he voted to substantiate Kavanaugh to the Supreme Courtroom, mitigating the danger of GOP assaults within the closing stretch of his reelection marketing campaign in opposition to West Virginia’s Republican Lawyer Normal Patrick Morrisey.
A GOP strategist advised The Hill that personal polling reveals that the Kavanaugh nomination ranks as a high situation, alongside jobs and the financial system, in West Virginia in addition to in North Dakota.
In the meantime Democrats are seeing deep-red states the place that they had hoped for a slender path now slip away.
In Texas, momentum gave the impression to be shifting in the direction of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz describes hiding from protesters in DC restaurant The Hill’s Reid Wilson says conservatives are widening the gap in the Texas Senate race O’Rourke not ‘interested’ in Obama endorsement MORE (R), who stated he raised $12 million within the third fundraising quarter of the 12 months. And a current Quinnipiac ballot confirmed the senator with a 9-point lead over opponent Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D).
In Tennessee, a Fox Information ballot confirmed Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnDem super PAC won’t back Bredesen after his backing of Kavanaugh Poll: GOP’s Blackburn leads Democrat Bredesen by 5 points in Tennessee Senate race Election Countdown: Dems raising millions in fight for House | Trump attacks potential challengers | GOP finalizes 2020 convention plans | Dems see Kavanaugh fight driving women voters to the polls | Bloomberg spending big for Senate Dems MORE (R) main former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) by 5 points.
Bredesen additionally confronted extra unhealthy information after a major Democratic super PAC said it will not spend sources to spice up his marketing campaign after he stated he helps Kavanaugh’s affirmation.
In the meantime, Republican adverts seizing on the Supreme Courtroom combat started hitting airwaves in Missouri and Montana – two pink states with susceptible Democratic incumbents – final week earlier than the Senate voted to substantiate Kavanaugh.
In Montana, an advert from Republican Matt Rosendale hit Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterMcConnell: Kavanaugh win ‘a shot of adrenaline’ for GOP midterm chances Overnight Health Care — Presented By National Partnership for Women & Families —New Iowa plans can disqualify those with pre-existing conditions | Health groups press Azar over funding for migrant children | Map breaks down opioid deaths by state, county Cook Political Report shifts three Senate races toward Republicans MORE (D) and Senate Democrats over their dealing with of allegations in opposition to Kavanaugh.
And in Missouri, Republican Josh Hawley accused Senate Democrats and his opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcConnell: Kavanaugh win ‘a shot of adrenaline’ for GOP midterm chances Hillicon Valley: Seven Russians indicted for hacking | Apple, Amazon servers reportedly compromised by China | Pence calls on Google to end censored search engine work | Ireland investigates Facebook breach Republican PAC releases poll showing Hawley with wide lead over McCaskill MORE (D), of creating a “circus” across the nomination in an advert of his personal.
The large unknown, nonetheless, is whether or not the surge in Republican enthusiasm will proceed to reverberate by means of Election Day now the the combat for Kavanaugh’s nomination is over.
“If Kavanaugh is confirmed, maybe Republicans will really feel much less of a have to prove,” Michael Cornfield, the co-director of the George Washington College Ballot, told Hill.TV Friday forward of the affirmation vote.
“If he is turned down, [Republicans] might surpass Democrats depth,” he added.
However the image is completely different for the Home, the place strategists warn Kavanaugh’s affirmation will seemingly gasoline Democratic turnout within the midterms.
The nomination combat sparked main protests that erupted within the Senate, with a whole bunch of demonstrators — many who had been ladies — were arrested days earlier than the ultimate vote.
Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to ram by means of Kavanaugh’s affirmation, ignoring credible allegations of sexual assault and the nominee’s fiery testimony final week earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democrats have a way more favorable map as they give the impression of being to flip the 23 seats they should regain management of the Home, with lots of the key battleground races being fought in suburban districts the place Republicans have proven indicators of struggling to win over ladies.
Public polls present a widening gender hole, with ladies tending to favor Democrats over Republicans, and outrage over Kavanaugh’s nomination may drive the wedge even deeper.
The Cook dinner Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, presently charges 31 Home races as “toss-up,” whereas 12 are seen as “leaning Democratic,” after not too long ago shifting a slew of races in favor of Democrats, together with the seats held by Reps. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderDems announce third-quarter fundraising bonanza Cook Political Report shifts 7 more races towards Dems Election Countdown: Dems raising millions in fight for House | Trump attacks potential challengers | GOP finalizes 2020 convention plans | Dems see Kavanaugh fight driving women voters to the polls | Bloomberg spending big for Senate Dems MORE (R-Kan.), Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloGOP spokeswoman says Republicans will lose House seats in midterms Cook Political Report shifts 7 more races towards Dems The Hill’s Morning Report — How will the Kavanaugh saga impact the midterms? MORE (R-Fla.), and Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveCook Political Report shifts 7 more races towards Dems Number of GOP women in House could fall to World War II levels, Republican CEO says GOP lacks good funding mechanism for women candidates, says Republican CEO MORE (R-Utah).
The winds favoring Democrats are seen in different methods.
Sixty Democratic Home hopefuls topped the $1 million mark in fundraising between July and September, whereas 30 handed the $2 million mark and eight raked in additional than $three million, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee (DCCC), said Thursday.
And the DCCC itself has additionally seen a surge in fundraising. The group introduced Friday that small-dollar donations elevated 467 p.c within the final week of September in comparison with the prior week, the committee stated Friday. The full quantity raised that week was up 277 p.c to $four.38 million.
Democratic Home hopefuls have sought in current weeks to capitalize on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
In New Jersey’s seventh District, for instance, Democrat Tom Malinowski hit Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceDems announce third-quarter fundraising bonanza GOP sees Kavanaugh as boost for Senate, danger for House GOP sacrifices women and House Republicans with Kavanaugh plan MORE (R) in an advert for dismissing the sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to Kavanaugh.
And in Georgia’s sixth District, Democrat Lucy McBath criticized her Republican opponent, Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelOvernight Health Care: Kavanaugh questioned if Roe v. Wade was ‘settled law’ in leaked email | Senate to vote next week on opioid package | Officials seek to jail migrant children indefinitely | HHS chief, lawmakers meet over drug prices Worst-case scenario for House GOP is 70-seat wipeout 2 women win Georgia Dem runoffs, extending streak for female candidates MORE (R-Ga.), for her earlier reward of Kavanaugh, telling the Related Press in an interview final month that Handel “has stood by Brett Kavanaugh and refused to talk out on any of those accusations.”
Jon Reinish, a New York-based Democratic strategist, stated that Kavanaugh’s affirmation had angered Democrats and predicted they might prove in drive, whereas Republicans could be much less motivated.
“The Republican base will see that they obtained what they wished,” he stated. “I do not assume that folks prove to say thanks.”
Reinish stated that the affirmation would gasoline rather more than a Democratic “blue wave” in November. He predicted as an alternative a “tsunami.”
“If the Republicans thought that they had an issue earlier than, they’ve an earthquake now, since you can’t understate the craze and you can not understate the emotion and you can not understate the mobilization of Democrats after this,” he stated.
— Lisa Hagen contributed