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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

For Democrats, the ends always justify the means. Always. They couldn’t care less about the truth, honor, integrity, or the damage they might do to an honorable man or woman, as long as they get their way.

The confirmation process of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh revealed the depths of their depravity. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the 85-year-old California Democrat, deliberately sat on a letter from accuser Christine Blasey Ford for nearly two months. It leaked just as a vote on Judge Kavanaugh neared. The mainstream media, an arm of the Democratic Party, then trotted out new accusations against the 26-year veteran judge with a squeaky-clean record, including claims from a porn-star lawyer’s client who said future-Justice Kavanaugh led a gang-rape club while in high school.


In the end, the smoke dissipated and it turned out there was no fire at all. But the Democrats knew there was no there there from the beginning. Their only intent was to dirty up Justice Kavanaugh — just as they did Justice Clarence Thomas — and, most important, to fire up their hard-core base before the November midterm congressional elections.

But a few new polls show that their strategy has badly backfired.

With less than a month to go before Election Day, Republicans are closing the gap with Democrats — especially after the Kavanaugh debacle. In a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Oct. 2, 49 percent of voters said they support the Democratic candidate in their local race for the House of Representatives while 42 percent back the Republican candidate. That 7-point edge is just half of the 52-38 margin in the Sept. 12 survey by Quinnipiac. Their latest poll was conducted Sept. 27-30, after the Senate Judiciary Committee held its final hearing on Judge Kavanaugh but before he was confirmed.

“The numbers suggest the big blue wave may have lost some of its momentum as House races tighten,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

The Quinnipiac poll follows a Gallup survey that showed Republicans’ enthusiasm five weeks before the midterm elections was rising fast, putting them neck and neck with Democrats, who held a big margin just weeks ago. “Sixty-one percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners and 58 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners say they are more enthusiastic about voting in November compared to prior elections,” Gallup reported.

“These levels roughly match Republicans’ record-high enthusiasm in 2010, Barack Obama’s first midterm, when the GOP won a whopping 63 seats. But this is the first time in Gallup’s trend since 1994 that both parties have expressed high enthusiasm.”

Most fascinating in the poll is the comparison with 2010. In the first midterms after Mr. Obama was elected — and the first after the passage of Obamacare without a single GOP vote — Democrats got shellacked, losing 63 seats in the House of Representatives, the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since 1938. Republicans also picked up six seats in the Senate. That rout was even worse across the country: the GOP gained 680 seats in state legislative races, breaking the previous record of 628 set by Democrats in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.

Another new poll, this one by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist, shows that while Democrats held a 10-point advantage in “enthusiasm” for the election back in July, that margin has dropped to just 2 points after the Kavanaugh hearings.

“The result of hearings, at least in the short run, is the Republican base was awakened,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told NPR.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said conservative voters are amped up after the Kavanaugh mess.

“The more outrageous our Democratic colleagues treat this nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, the more energized Republican voters are becoming, because they realize what the alternative is,” he told Politico. “I think the extent to which people view this confirmation proceeding for Kavanaugh as being hijacked by partisan operatives, I think that’s going to energize independents and Republicans.”

So far, he looks absolutely spot on.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter
@josephcurl.


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