A Big Blue Wave has been building all year in favor of Democrats. As Trump’s approval keeps dropping to historic lows, the chances of a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives keeps rising. Last week several polls showed the blue party with double-digit leads in the generic congressional ballot. Experts were saying even the Senate was in play.
And that was before Dr. Christine Ford came forth with her bombshell allegations against Donald Trump’s chosen Supreme Court nominee.
To understand how bad this could be for Republicans, it’s helpful to look at some interesting new polls. For example, according to CNN polls released yesterday, Democratic candidates are ahead in two key states that are “must wins” for the party to take back control of the Senate: Arizona and Tennessee.
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona and former Gov. Phil Bredesen in Tennessee are leading their Republican opponents for these open seats where sitting Republican senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker are retiring. In Arizona, Sinema is leading Rep. Martha McSally by seven percentage points, 50% to 43%. And in Tennessee, Bredesen has a five-point edge on Rep. Marsha Blackburn— 50% to 45%.
If these two Democrats win, and all other incumbent Democratic Senators win, then Chuck Schumer will be the next Majority Leader of the Senate, replacing Republican Mitch McConnell.
So how does Kavanaugh’s nomination play into this?
The conventional wisdom has been that Democratic Senators in North Dakota, Missouri, Florida, Indiana, Montana and West Virginia might lose because those states all went for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
But as every day goes on those tough Senate contests look better and better for the Democratic incumbents.
There has been speculation that the these Democratic senators would have to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation in order to get re-elected but that no longer appears to be the case. A new poll shows that a vote for Kavanaugh will not help the Democrats win over independent voters in these red states.
Michael Steele former head of the Republican National Committee, said on Monday that the chaos surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process would very likely cost his party control of the Senate in November.
And now, the sexual assault charges against Kavanaugh have given all the Democratic Senate candidates in red states a great political boost, allowing them to oppose Kavanaugh while also maintaining support among their base of supporters.
“For those Democrats up for re-election from states that Trump carried, they now have absolutely no reason to vote for Kavanaugh. Period. End of story,” said Jim Manley, a former high-ranking Democratic Senate aide. “They have all the cover they need.”
Steel said that if Republican Senators are forced to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, it will help the Democrats win the close races they need to win.
“Republicans are probably looking for ways to avoid this,” Steele said. “This is a no-win scenario for them. … It becomes a matter of do you go through with this nomination and push a vote… which I think then puts the Senate in play in a way that people aren’t calculating right now.”
If Kavanaugh’s confirmation is rushed through now it will anger millions of independent women voters, but that is what the GOP candidates in Tennessee and North Dakota have said should happen.
If Kavanaugh’s accuser is dragged in front of the Republicans on the Senate Committee — a bunch of old white men — and they grill her and treat her with a lack of respect, that will also anger millions of women.
There is really no way the current Kavanaugh fiasco helps Republicans. No matter what happens next in this drama the GOP candidates have been harmed.
With polls already trending in their favor, the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh have given Democratic candidates a big boost right when they needed it. The elections will be held seven weeks from today, and all the momentum is building in favor of the Blue Wave.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.