The Democrats’ Blue Wave Could Be Breaking As Republicans Surge

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

The Democratic Party’s blue wave to take back the House could break as Republicans surge in early voting in seven key states — in no way a definitive sign, but one that points to “robust enthusiasm” in the GOP, according to NBC News Monday.

GOP-affiliated voters have early voted more than Democratic-affiliated voters in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas, reported NBC News. In all of these states but Arizona, male voters were outnumbered by female voters, which Democrats are heavily courting, reported NBC News.

North Carolina residents wait in a line to get into the Charlotte Mecklenburg University City Library to early vote on October 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

North Carolina residents wait in a line to get into the Charlotte Mecklenburg University City Library to early vote on October 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Democratic early voting outpaced Republican early voting in Nevada, where Senate candidates Republican Dean Heller and Democratic candidate Jacky Rosen are being closely watched.

Democrats are touting that their turnout could break records, especially after the Kavanaugh hearings. But a Washington Post-Schar School poll suggests the same percentage of each party, roughly six-in-10 likely voters, are “more motivated to vote” because of the Supreme Court confirmation battle.

Democratic votes “could also be concentrated in predictable Democratic strongholds rather than crucial swing districts,” reported The New York Times Tuesday. That’s what the GOP is hoping for in order to hold onto its 23-seat majority.

Some typically Democratic voters, including the women voters the Democratic Party is banking on, are not planning to vote down the party line, reported The Times in a story that put faces on the swing voters who could derail the blue wave.

The Times interviewed voters who are Democrats or unaffiliated and plan to vote for Republican congressional candidates. They said they were motivated by factors like satisfaction with the economy and concerns about illegal immigration, as well as local issues.

Voting Based On Trust

“I own a uterus and, therefore, I must vote,” Kristen Donnelly, 35, of Pennsylvania told The Times, “but I refuse to be a one-party voter.”

Donnelly is a self-proclaimed never-Trumper and pro-gun control. She plans on supporting Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick for Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District but has not made a final decision, reported The Times.

Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick appears on Fox News. YouTube screenshot/Fox News

Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick appears on Fox News. YouTube screenshot/Fox News

Fitzpatrick appeals to Donnelly because he is a “moderate” who subscribes to “the idea that America as a nation is good, and that we can continue to protect the American experiment as it stands,” she told The Times. Ultimately, she has come to trust Fitzpatrick, she said. (RELATED: Pelosi ‘Pretty Comfortable’ She’ll Be House Speaker As She Says ‘I Am A Great Legislator’)

Donnelly’s district went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections, but Fitzpatrick and Democrat Scott Wallace are neck-and-neck in a race rated as a toss-up by RealClear Politics. Fitzpatrick currently represents Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District but is running in the 1st Congressional District after lines were redrawn in February.

Economic Motivations

Sal Rasheed, 46, lives in Orange County, California, and plans to vote for Republican Mimi Walters, he told The Times.

Rasheed, an immigrant from South Asia, works for an insurance company that he said is hiring more people and paying more into employees’ retirement accounts because of the healthy economy.

He is a former Democrat who said he voted for President Donald Trump and plans to support Walters, an incumbent in a competitive race in California’s 45th Congressional District.

Republican California Rep. Mimi Walters appears on Bloomberg Politics Aug. 17, 2018. YouTube screenshot/Bloomberg Politics

Republican California Rep. Mimi Walters appears on Bloomberg Politics Aug.

“People are ignoring a lot of stuff that comes from Trump’s mouth,” Rasheed told The Times. “They are feeling good about everything else.”

Trump’s rhetoric on immigration does make him reluctant to vote Republican, Rasheed told The Times.

“As a legal immigrant who stood in line,” Rasheed told The Times, “it sort of breaks my heart that there are so many immigrants here who are jumping line.”

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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