Democrats’ ‘blue wave’ may be in jeopardy as new polls suggest the bitter confirmation battle of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could actually help Republicans; insight from former Clinton campaign chief strategist Mark Penn.
Democratic politicians appear eager to try and channel voter anger over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to voter turnout in November.
The realities are that Democrats have a better chance at regaining control of the House than they do the Senate. They need to win 23 more seats to take over the House. The hope is that women – already frustrated with President Trump – turn out in droves for the midterms.
“I really think this is going to drive women out to the polls in unprecedented numbers,” Katie Hill, a Democratic House candidate in California, said,according to The Wall Street Journal.
Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, told The Journal that Christian conservatives will be happy with Trump for his Supreme Court picks, but he said the Democratic “enthusiasm in the midterms will go even higher if that’s possible.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D- Hawaii., who was an outspoken critic of the former federal judge, told ABC’s ‘This Week’ that she is focused like a ‘laser beam’ on the upcoming elections.
“I’m very focused on the here and now, which is that all these angry women, mainly, out there who saw what was going on and how the Senate was not able to deal with the entire issue of sexual assault,” she said.
The climactic 50-48 roll call on Saturday capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that he had sexually assaulted women three decades ago — allegations he emphatically denied. Those accusations transformed the clash from a routine struggle over judicial ideology into an angry jumble of questions about victims’ rights, the presumption of innocence and personal attacks on nominees.
His confirmation provides a defining accomplishment for Trump and the Republican Party, which found a unifying force in the cause of putting a new conservative majority on the court.
Republicans will likely also use the Kavanaugh confirmation process to stir their base, pointing at what they saw as a fundamentally flawed approach Democrats took in handling sexual assault allegations against the nomination.
“Our energy and enthusiasm was lagging behind theirs [Democrats] until this,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., told “CBS Sunday.” “And I think this gave us the motivation and the opportunity to have the kind of turnout in this off-year election that would help us hold the Senate.”
Some Democrats have already mentioned investigating Kavanaugh if they regain control of the House. Rep. Ted. Lieu, D-Calif., and Rep. Louis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., called for impeachment proceedings in the event that an investigation proved Kavanaugh lied while in front of Congress.
That investigation,Democrats have said, could well lead to impeachment proceedings. Federal judges can be impeached by a simple majority of the House, but actually removing Justice Kavanaugh from the bench would then require a two-thirds vote of the Senate — an extraordinarily unlikely scenario. No sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice has ever been removed from the bench using this mechanism.
Some Democrats appear to flinch at the prospect of seeking impeachment.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was asked about the prospects of impeaching Kavanaugh, and she said it “would not be my plan.”
“I have enough people on my back wanting us to impeach the president,” Pelosi said, according to The Times.
Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter professor of law, Emeritus, at Harvard,wrote on Fox Newsthat he hopes Democrats take over the House in November, and they act “as an appropriate check and balance on the other branches rather than as a revenge-driven Javert, the villain of “Les Miserables,” obsessed with righting past wrongs rather than preventing future ones.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report