PoliticsMidterm Elections


GOP's Kavanaugh Win Could Inspire Midterms Revenge For Dems

The Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh could drive more unhappy Democrats to vote in November.
Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 16, 2018

The aftereffects of the Senate's bitterly partisan fight to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are likely to show up again in just a few weeks for the midterm elections.

A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found Democrats were feeling more motivated to vote after the Kavanaugh hearing, while Republicans had stayed at about the same level of motivation.

Cameron Easley, the Washington, D.C. Editor of research firm Morning Consult, told Newsy "I think the outcome of the Kavanaugh decision was going to be the key decider in how the politics play out."

"When it comes to voting intentions, negative information, negative events — these are things that tend to spur participation. When someone is unhappy with what's happening, when they're afraid that something's going to happen to them, maybe that something's going to be taken away, that's a really big motivator."

Republicans have been making the case that the attacks leveled at Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing would inspire their voters to turn out in November.

But Democrats are still enjoying the edge in most polls: RealClearPolitics has Democrats running about 7 points ahead of Republicans in their average of generic ballot polls.

There is a silver lining for Republicans, though: their chances in several key Senate races have improved significantly over the course of the Kavanaugh hearings. North Dakota's Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in particular has seen her poll numbers slide since voting against Kavanaugh.

"We have seen some of the head-to-head polling in these states," Easley said, "These seem to be moving in the GOP's direction. It's hard to tell how much of that is Kavanaugh and how much of that is typical Republican voters coming home. But it's certainly not the slam dunk for Democrats in the Senate that it is for the House."