'Kavanaugh Effect' Bolsters GOP Chances in Key States Ahead of November Elections
On Wednesday, an NPR/PBS/Marist poll showed Republicans anxious to get to the polls in November, balancing out the Democrats' "blue wave" enthusiasm. The Democrats' disgusting tactics against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh may be taking a toll, and not just in national polls, but in key states for the midterms as well.
President Donald Trump expressed this "Kavanaugh effect" — credit for the term goes to PJ Media's Rick Moran — in a tweet Thursday morning. "The harsh and unfair treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is having an incredible upward impact on voters. The PEOPLE get it far better than the politicians," he declared. "Most importantly, this great life cannot be ruined by mean & despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!"
Also on Thursday morning, Axios's Mike Allen called the Kavanaugh effect — "the Brett bounce," in his words — an "October surprise."
Top Republicans told Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan "they're seeing a surprising and widespread surge in GOP voter enthusiasm, powered largely by support for Brett Kavanaugh and his Supreme Court nomination."
"The Kavanaugh debate has dropped a political grenade into the middle of an electorate that had largely been locked in Democrats' favor for the past six months," Josh Holmes, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told Axios.
Holmes pointed to Montana, Indiana, West Virginia, Missouri, and Tennessee, saying, "Private polling shows the enthusiasm shift is ... unmistakeable in the red states that will determine control of the Senate."
In North Dakota, a Fox News poll put Republican challenger Kevin Cramer 12 points ahead of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). Missouri Rising Action, a super PAC supporting Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), reported poll numbers showing Hawley 8 points ahead of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
Axios' Jonathan Swan cautioned that Republicans still face problems in November — independent voters may not pull the lever for the GOP. Even so, the Kavanaugh effect seems to be building in the Republican ranks, and may put to rest the Democrat hopes of a "blue wave."
Quick recap: Democrat sits on sexual assault allegations for 6 weeks, despite meeting privately with Kavanaugh in settings where she could discuss them in confidence. Allegation comes out, Kavanaugh denies it. Senate Judiciary Committee investigates, while Democrats refuse to join and go to the press instead. They have argued that "innocent until proven guilty" does not apply to Kavanaugh.
A broken Brett Kavanaugh testifies that this entire ordeal has wreaked havoc on his family. He chokes back tears, describing his daughter's prayer for his accuser. Democrats' response: his righteous anger at being accused of sexual crimes he flatly denies means he lacks the judicial temperament to serve on the Supreme Court. WHAT?!
All Americans should watch Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)'s speech on just how disgusting the Democrats' tactics have been. Republicans seem to have learned the lesson — let's hope independents and a few Democrats do, too.
I predicted the Supreme Court vacancy would put an end to the Democrats' "blue wave." The Kavanaugh effect — or if you prefer, the "Brett bounce" — is still early and the polls may be wrong, but it seems Democrats' disgusting tactics have energized a broad swath of Republicans.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.