RNLA Chair John Ryder wrote yesterday about how the Democrats' smear of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and their obvious efforts to play politics with his nomination have motivated conservative voters:
The dust has more or less settled from the Kavanaugh confirmation battle, but we will feel its effects for some time to come. It will take an entire term of the Supreme Court to begin to assess the impact of Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the court itself, but the political consequences are more immediate and tangible. . . .
Prior to Kavanaugh, Democrats were more enthusiastic and more likely to vote in the midterms than Republicans by a substantial margin. This created what pollsters call an “enthusiasm gap.” But Democrats had already achieved “peak energy” for this election. The Kavanaugh confirmation did not significantly increase their anger, which is driven by hostility to President Trump.
For Republicans, the confirmation fight energized the base and beyond. The histrionics of the opposition to Kavanagh unified and motivated Republicans as nothing else could do. It brought back into the Republican fold Trump-skeptic voters, whose enthusiasm for the administration has never been strong. Remember that for nearly 20 percent of the voters in 2016, the filling of Supreme Court vacancies was the principal reason they voted for Trump.
The confirmation battle energized the base on both sides, but Republicans had more room for upward movement and so have increased their enthusiasm relative to the Democrats. This “Kavanaugh bounce” shows up in the current polling which has Republican Senate candidate[s] moving ahead in their races, across the country.
The current polling in some close Senate races backs up Mr. Ryder's assertion:
- Tennessee: Rep. Marsha Blackburn is leading by 5-14 points. Former Gov. Phil Breseden was leading in the polls until September 16.
- North Dakota: Rep. Kevin Cramer's lead over Senator Heidi Heitkamp (who voted against Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation) has jumped to 8-12 points since early September.
- Missouri: Attorney General Josh Hawley is leading Senator Claire McCaskill (who voted against Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation) by a narrow margin after Sen. McCaskill had a consistent lead all summer.
While what the Democrats did to Justice Kavanaugh was unpardonable, they may pay some price at the ballot box next month. It is looking like American voters will show the Democrats that they do value civility and due process and reject the current, divisive direction of the Democratic Party.