‘I’m going to do my own thing’: Dems split on message in SCOTUS fight

POLITICO | 7/12/2018 | ELANA SCHOR
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As they start a Supreme Court battle with control of the Senate on the line, Democrats want to talk about Obamacare. And Roe v. Wade. And the special counsel’s investigation into President Donald Trump.

That’s not to mention Democratic concerns about how Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would rule on guns, unions, voting rights and more. While the GOP is promoting Trump’s pick with a singular message — touting Kavanaugh’s ample qualifications — Democrats are offering multiple arguments against him that each speak to multiple parts of their base and the electorate.

Strategy - Challenge - Party - Agenda - Voters

The multi-part strategy reflects a perennial challenge for a party that has struggled to succinctly communicate its agenda to voters.

“We have a long history of making simple arguments overly complicated, and we have a long history of thinking that we need to compartmentalize our messages for different groups,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “We need to get over both of those addictions if we are going to defeat Brett Kavanaugh.”

Interviews - Dozen - Senators - Wednesday - Caucus

Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators on Wednesday indicated that, while some in the caucus see the multiple Supreme Court messages as a potential political risk, others are shrugging and going their own way on Kavanaugh.

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Democrats zeroed in on health care and abortion rights as their primary two topics for the Supreme Court fight even before Kavanaugh was nominated. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Wednesday that the nominee’s past writing on investigations into sitting presidents compelled the addition of another central issue: how Kavanaugh would rule on issues related to Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and potential obstruction of justice by Trump.

Issues

“So there are many issues,”...
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