It looks as though all of the controversies following the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court may have lit a match under Republican voters.
In July, the gap between Republican voter enthusiasm and Democratic enthusiasm was 10 points. Many conservatives were concerned that this could impact the 2018 midterm elections because the #Resistance was fired up and many right-leaning voters lacked enthusiasm.
That all changed in the past few weeks.
The poll conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist showed that Republican voter enthusiasm climbed 12 points.
The Democrats’ lead in voter enthusiasm over Republicans has diminished to just 2 percentage points, which NPR called “a statistical tie.”
Many are pointing to Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing as the reason many Republicans are more eager to vote in 2018. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 65 percent of voters stated that Supreme Court appointments were “very important” to their vote in 2016.
Today, many Republicans believe that Democrats are working to delay Kavanaugh’s nomination until after the midterm elections in hopes that they can take over the Senate.
If they win the Senate, they would likely pull the same move that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pulled with Judge Merrick Garland. Republican voters don’t want that to happen.
Many believe that Republican victories in 2018 depend on the approval of Kavanaugh:
This would appear to be the best evidence yet that Kavanaugh has, in fact, boosted GOP midterm enthusiasm. https://t.co/Ii3NgzMRud
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) October 3, 2018
This will be over, one way or the other, before the midterms. And if Kavanaugh goes down, it will be Republicans who wielded the knife. That will sap GOP enthusiasm, but for now, Rs are engaged unlike any time in the Trump age. Good job, Dems. https://t.co/XUNV2PkOFM pic.twitter.com/AcdHZrIX35
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) October 3, 2018
Others couldn’t help but feel as though Democrats shot themselves in the foot by hyping up the Republican voter base through their perceived early delay tactics:
Democrats overplay their hand? That's unpossible! https://t.co/BtLWnpVFwy
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) October 3, 2018
Thank you, Sen. Feinstein. https://t.co/Ityt0l5fyH
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) October 3, 2018
It is important to note that voter enthusiasm did increase for Democrats as well, though it was only by 4 percentage points.
Either way, both parties will likely use the confirmation, or lack thereof, as a key issue to rally voters in November.
It seems that the Supreme Cout has, yet again, become a top issue for voters.