The bitter battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has exacerbated the nation’s political divide and left many Americans emotionally raw. It’s also given new definition to the high stakes of November’s election.
After a nailbiter of a Supreme Court nomination until the very last minute, angry Democrats have come out in force, vowing to extract revenge on Republicans with the nation’s top Democrat urging supporters to make Republicans "pay a price" for putting Brett Kavanaugh on to the Supreme Court.
As the Washington Examiner reported, in a fundraising email that follows threats from other public officials over President Trump’s second court victory, DNC Chairman Tom Perez wrote, "Make Republicans pay a price for Brett Kavanaugh."
From DNC's Perez:
Here is one thing we've learned from the Brett Kavanaugh fight: We can never, ever, trust congressional Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump.
In just 30 days, we have a chance to elect Democratic majorities in Congress -- and for the sake of our democracy, we must.
If you're able, make a $3 donation right now to make Republicans pay a price for Brett Kavanaugh:
It's not enough to get mad, Clinton -- we have to beat the Republicans who rammed this nomination through. Time and time again, Republicans have shown that they can't be trusted to stand up to the Trump administration on a single thing.
So it really is this simple: If we don't want people like Brett Kavanaugh to be appointed to lifetime positions in our federal judiciary, we need to elect Democratic majorities this November.
Democrats only need to flip two Senate seats this November to win control of the Senate and make sure Trump can't ram through any more judges like Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Donate $3 right now to throw out the GOP this November.
Democratic National Committee
Meanwhile, the liberal group American Bridge 21st Century vowed that "a day of reckoning is coming for Republicans."
Two years ago the Access Hollywood tape revealed Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.
Since the Access Hollywood tape came out, Trump has made it his mission to gaslight women and defend sexual predators like Rob Porter, Roy Moore, and Brett Kavanaugh.
That’s why we were outside of Trump’s hotel in Washington D.C. blaring the audio from the Access Hollywood tape and Trump’s degrading comments about women who have experienced sexual assault.
Trump and the GOP’s message is clear:
They don’t care about sexual assault against women.
They don’t believe women.
A day of reckoning is coming for Republicans on November 6, and American Bridge is doing everything we can to put the GOP on defense.
With 30 days until the election, we need the resources to keep the fight on the GOP’s doorstep. Will you donate $10 now and help us hold Republicans accountable?
Until now, the fight for control of Congress has largely been viewed as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. But the turmoil surrounding Kavanaugh transformed the midterms into something bigger than Trump, with implications that could endure long after his presidency.
The election is suddenly layered with charged cultural questions about the scarcity of women in political power, the handling of sexual assault allegations, and shifting power dynamics that have left some white men uneasy about their place in American life according to AP.
Both parties contend the new contours of the race will energize their supporters in the election’s final stretch. Both may be right.
Republicans, however, may benefit most in the short term. Until now, party leaders, Trump included, have struggled to rev up GOP voters, even with a strong economy to campaign on. The president’s middling job approval rating and independent voters’ disdain for his constant personal attacks have been a drag on GOP candidates, particularly in the more moderate suburban districts that will determine control of the House.
But Republican operatives say internal polling now shows Kavanaugh’s acrimonious confirmation has given the party a much-needed boost, with GOP voters viewing Democrats as overzealous partisans following the public testimony by Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused the judge of trying to rape her while they were both in high school. Ford said she was “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh was her attacker; Kavanaugh steadfastly denied her allegations.
The Democrats’ “strategy to capitalize on the ‘Me Too’ movement for the political purposes backfired on them,” Republican strategist Alice Stewart said. “The fact that they were willing to use Dr. Ford’s story that was uncorroborated to launch character assassinations on Judge Kavanaugh did not sit well with voters. A lot of people looked at this as a bridge too far.”
The surge in GOP enthusiasm could recalibrate a political landscape that was tilting toward Democrats throughout the summer. Though Democrats still maintain an advantage in competitive House races, the past two weeks appear to have shifted momentum in the fight for the Senate majority back to the GOP.
Perhaps, but it will be an uphill battle.
In a note over the weekend, Goldman economists wrote that the consensus view in financial markets appears to be a Democratic majority in the House and a Republican majority in the Senate. And while that is also Goldman's expectation for the most likely outcome in our view, with one month to go much could still change.
Generic ballot polling continues to suggest a fairly narrow Democratic majority in the House, as does district-level polling. In the Senate, state-level polling implies that neither party will gain any net seats. In both cases, polling of the individual contests suggests that the marginal seat that will determine the majority is nearly tied. This is particularly true in the Senate, where the likely marginal seats have alternated between a slight Republican and slight Democratic advantage in the polls over the last few weeks.
And while conventional wisdom is that Republicans will lose the House, sentiment is shifting rapidly.
In North Dakota, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer has pulled comfortably ahead of Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who voted “no” on Kavanaugh. GOP operatives say they’re also seeing renewed Republican interest in states such as Wisconsin, where Democratic candidates for both Senate and governor have been polling strong.
“It’s turned our base on fire,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Saturday, moments after the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh.
To be sure, some tightening in the race was likely inevitable this fall. Wavering voters often move back toward their party’s candidates as Election Day nears, and most of the competitive Senate races are in states that voted for Trump by a significant margin.
With just over four weeks until Election Day, there is still time for the dynamics to shift again. And the political headwinds from the Kavanaugh confirmation are unlikely to blow in just one direction.
Meanwhile, to Democrats, Kavanaugh’s ascent to the Supreme Court in spite of decades-old sexual misconduct allegations will only deepen the party’s pull with female voters, including independents and moderates who may have previously voted for Republicans. Democrats point to the flood of women who have spoken out about their own assaults following Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Party operatives also believe the optics of the all-male GOP panel that presided over the hearing struck a chord with female voters.
“Kavanaugh’s confirmation will leave a lot of outraged and energized women in its wake,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.
That said, Trump remains the fall campaign’s biggest wild card. White House advisers and Republican senators are encouraging him to keep Kavanaugh in the spotlight in the campaign’s final weeks. But they’re well aware that the president often struggles to stay on message and can quickly overshadow his political victories with new controversies.
Given that, Stewart said Republicans can’t assume that this burst of momentum will sustain itself through Election Day.
“The question is whether this is the October surprise or the calm before the storm,” Stewart said.