The good news is that Democrats now appear to have a better chance than ever at winning back control of the U.S. House of Representatives with 30 days until the midterm elections. Some people even believe that the Blue Wave will turn into a Blue Tsunami.
The bad news is that the slim chance Democrats have of taking back the Senate seems to be slipping away.
Now that the intense controversy and fight about Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is over, the political world is 100% focused on the elections to be held November 6th throughout the United States.
Nobody knows how the next four weeks will play out, but everyone seems to agree that the Kavanaugh fight has hurt Republicans further with suburban female voters. It is these women — from affluent areas currently being represented by Republicans — who have been leaving the GOP and who are expected to provide the impetus for a Blue Wave election. Suburban districts are the ones most likely to swing in favor of Democrats and give them the 23 seats they need to win a House majority.
Despite this, Republicans were crowing about their Supreme Court victory all weekend. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Saturday that his Kavanaugh victory has given a major boost to Republican senate candidates in the midterms.
It does appear that the Kavanaugh confirmation has given Republicans a boost in several competitive Senate races. This year Democrats have to defend 10 senate seats in states Trump won in 2016, including North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri, Montana and West Virginia. Right now it appears that Democratic incumbents Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Claire McCaskill in Missouri may be headed to defeat.
Many political analysts are skeptical about the increase in Republican enthusiasm continuing to help them through Election Day. Since the fight for Kavanaugh’s nomination has ended they believe Republicans will be less energized to vote on election day.
“Now that Kavanaugh is confirmed, perhaps Republicans will feel less of a need to turn out,” Michael Cornfield, the co-director of the George Washington University Poll, said in an interview with Hill.TV.
But the picture is different in House races, where most political strategists believe Kavanaugh’s confirmation is going to fuel increased Democratic turnout in the midterms.
Democrats believe Republicans rammed through Kavanaugh’s confirmation and ignored credible allegations of sexual assault. This has especially upset college educated women voters who were already leaving the Republican Party in droves.
Compared to the Senate, the House map is much more favorable for Democrats. Since they need just 23 seats to regain control, and they are competitive in over 50 races currently held by Republicans, they like their chances.
And of course many of the key battleground races are in swing suburban districts which are now leaning Democratic.
Another indicator favoring a Blue Wave is the preponderance of public opinion polls which show an historically large gender gap. By margins of over 20% women are now favoring Democrats over Republicans. Outrage over Kavanaugh’s nomination, and the way his accusers were treated, may increase the gender gap even further.
Democratic strategist Jon Reinish said that Kavanaugh’s confirmation has motivated angry Democrats and he predicted that they will turn out in force, while Republicans now will be less motivated.
“The Republican base will see that they got what they wanted,” Reinish said. “I don’t think that people turn out to say thank you.”
“If the Republicans thought they had a problem before, they have an earthquake now, because you cannot overstate the rage and you cannot overstate the emotion and you cannot overstate the mobilization of Democrats after this,” he added.
Reinish also said that he believes that the Kavanaugh confirmation will lead to much more than just a Democratic Blue Wave in November. “There’s going to be a Blue Tsunami,” he predicted.
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.