We are 34 days away from the 2018 midterm elections, and while House and Senate candidates are trying to focus on local and state issues, many of their races have been overshadowed by the ongoing Kavanaugh controversy. Whether he gets confirmed or not could have an effect on turnout for both Republican and Democratic voters in November.
Republicans are upset about the way in which the Kavanaugh proceedings have been handled by Democrats, with many believing that the Supreme Court nominee has been treated unfairly and robbed of due process.
Republican voters are still standing by the nominee in high numbers, with an October 1 Quinnipiac poll showing an 84-percent approval rating among Republicans for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. If Kavanaugh should be taken down by these proceedings, this could further embolden Republicans to turn out in November, especially in races where red-state Democratic Senators are facing a tough reelection.
Democratic anger about the Kavanaugh proceedings rivals that of Republicans, with Democratic voters equally outraged at the idea of Kavanaugh being confirmed, believing him to be unfit based on the sexual assault allegations against him and his defensive testimony addressing the allegations.
The same Quinnipiac poll shows that 84 percent of Democratic voters believe Dr. Blasey Ford, and 88 percent believe that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. If Kavanaugh is confirmed in spite of all his controversy, it could drive up Democratic turnout even more than already anticipated for the midterms.
If the nominee is taken down and the Supreme Court seat is left open, this could also motivate Democrats to turn out in key senate races across the country that are crucial to any chance of the Democratic Party regaining control in the Senate.
In the end, it could also be argued that voters who are motivated by the Kavanaugh controversy would be the type of voters who were already going to show up to the polls anyway, regardless of this controversy.
If one pays close enough attention to the Kavanaugh controversy to be angry about it and claim that it’s motivating his or her vote, then that indicates said person is partisan and highly informed, meaning that they will always turn out, regardless. If this is true, then whatever happens with Kavanaugh could do little to increase turnout on either side of the aisle.
Will Kavanaugh’s confirmation or take down affect whether we see a blue wave, red wave or no effect? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below!