Monday, October 08, 2018


In USA Today, Margot Cleveland, a Notre Dame professor who has also written for the Federalist, National Review, and Townhall, tells America that Democrats sealed their doom during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings:
Democrats have unleashed a red wave of Brett Kavanaugh-believing women voters

... The extreme left of the Democratic Party may celebrate leaders’ no-holds-bar attempt to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but swing suburban moms are appalled by the Democrats’ ill-use of Ford, Ramirez and Swetnick....

Moderate women voters also find Democratic senators’ utter disregard for the men affected by false claims of sexual assault terrifying....

Women also saw the future of a society that puts politics over the principles of fairness and the presumption of innocence. And they saw Democrats leading that charge.

Democratic politicians, professional protesters and reproductive-rights activists are so blinded by their rage at how President Donald Trump succeeded in appointing a second originalist justice to the Supreme Court, they cannot see the anger they unleashed in the apolitical populace across America. They will see it, though, come November.
Cleveland offers no evidence for this, probably because it's not true, as a newly released poll of battleground House districts makes clear:
Likely voters who live in 69 battleground House districts across the country narrowly prefer Democratic candidates, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School survey, a potentially worrying sign for Republicans given that the overwhelming percentage of these districts are currently in GOP hands....

The survey of 2,672 likely voters by The Post and the Schar School at George Mason University shows that likely voters in these districts favor Democrats by a slight margin: 50 percent prefer the Democratic nominee and 46 percent prefer the Republican. By way of comparison, in 2016 these same districts favored Republican candidates over Democratic ones by 15 percentage points, 56 percent to 41 percent.

Women are driving Democratic support in the battleground districts, favoring the party’s candidates by 54 percent to 40 percent....

Of the 69 districts included in the survey, 63 are held by Republicans and just six are held by Democrats.
Were the poll respondents thinking about the Kavanaugh confirmation fight? Yes:
Voters rated eight issues from “extremely important” to “very important” to “somewhat important” to “not so important.” The issue that drew the most “extremely important” rating, at 64 percent, was the Supreme Court and judicial nominations, the issue that dominated the news during the time the survey was conducted....

Among those who cite judicial nominations as extremely important, 50 percent are backing the Democrat in their district and 47 percent are backing the Republican.
There's evidence that key Senate races are going the other way -- but that's because several Democrats are defending seats in states Trump won overwhelmingly (North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, West Virginia). In the House, the red wave isn't showing up at all so far.

But I want people like Margot Cleveland to continue predicting doom for the Democrats. I want the president and his allies to continue saying that Democrats shot themselves in the foot. Not long ago we were hearing that GOP strategists were worried that the president was making Republican voters overconfident, and thus complacent, about November. Now everyone's doing that, including the mainstream media.

I also think the the GOP could be hurt in November by the conservative media's business model, which requires it to refresh the product every couple of days, swapping in new enemies in place of the old. Already the right is targeting Taylor Swift for her endorsement of two Tennessee Democrats. Guys, I thought you were planning to ride a wave of anger about the Kavanaugh hearings all the way to victory in November. But wingnut media outlets need new content, so they're gradually going to turn away from All Kavanaugh, All the Time. How much of the right's Kavanaugh anger will carry through to Election Day?

It's strange to feel this way -- I'm usually less optimistic than everyone else. I do think it's possible that a red bump could show up in subsequent polls, and it remains possible that Democrats could win the overall House vote by "only" 6 or 7 points and still fail to win a majority of seats.

But I'm not gloomy about anything except the Senate. I think Democratic anger -- sustained for two years -- will endure.

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