Thursday, October 04, 2018


For a while I've been concerned that Democrats looking ahead to the midterms might be celebrating victory prematurely -- but now it seems that Republicans are the ones doing that, egged on by the mainstream media.

Here's Axios:
Top Republicans tell Axios that they're seeing a surprising and widespread surge in GOP voter enthusiasm, powered largely by support for Brett Kavanaugh and his Supreme Court nomination.

... Across the critical midterm states, Republicans point to a major mood swing among voters — what one top operative called a "tidal shift."

... Steven Law — a former McConnell chief of staff who runs the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC — warned that hard data is limited so far. But he said "a broad bitstream of calls, emails, cabbie conversations and other inputs from non-D.C. sources ... suggest a strongly negative reaction that is building far beyond the Beltway to where the Democrats and the media have taken this."
The focus by Democrats -- and the media -- on uncorroborated allegations made about Kavanaugh's behavior in high school and college have convinced many Republicans this is nothing more than an attempt to smear a good man for partisan gain....

That makes the Republican base mad. And mad is a good thing in politics, because mad voters tend to vote.
Both of those stories acknowledge that the bump may not last. Breitbart isn't even bothering with that caveat:

Is all this a tad premature? The Washington Post's James Hohmann writes, "Kavanaugh is now widely expected to be confirmed Saturday." That would be October 6 -- exactly a month before the election. Does anyone remember what happened on October 7, 2016 -- a month and a day before that year's election?

The Access Hollywood tape was made public. It was 32 days before the election and nearly everyone believed that was the final nail in Trump's coffin. Even I thought so.

Don't forget that Republican voters were already complacent about the election -- dangerously so, according to GOP insiders -- because they believe what the right-wing media and the president have been telling them about the likelihood of a "red wave" at the polls in November. Now the mainstream media seems to be saying similar things, albeit with more qualifications. That could increase Republican complacency.

Also remember that anti-Trump anger has probably been quelled a bit in the past couple of weeks because, for the first time in nearly three years, Trump hasn't been the most talked-about person in political news. Once Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, Trump will be the center of attention again. We'll notice every time he says something horrifying or proposes something awful.

And that's in addition to the lingering anger at Kavanaugh's inevitable confirmation among left and left-center voters. For a lot of us, the day of Kavanaugh's confirmation will be Election Day 2016 all over again -- except the election will be upcoming this time. Republican voters' anger is already dissipating. Ours? It hasn't peaked yet.

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