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The battle over the confirmation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has helped Republicans in the short term more than Democrats. Since the stunning “thumbs down” moment by the late Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., Republican enthusiasm has ebbed-and-flowed, while Democrats consistently reported higher levels of interest.
For Republicans, the challenge this election cycle was two-fold: combating voter complacency and maintaining the more moderate wing of their coalition, specifically women, and even more specifically, Republican women.
Downside - GOP - Enthusiasm - Something - Controversy
There was no downside for the GOP. They needed to increase enthusiasm, something the controversy over the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh clearly had the potential to do. There was almost no upside for the Democrats to do someone out of the mainstream in the final few weeks.
They needed to not derail their own enthusiasm, do nothing out of the mainstream to increase Republican enthusiasm and nothing to turn off Republican women they have targeted for at least the better half of two years. But what the media won’t tell you is that the Democrat Party made a costly mistake. The only questions remaining now are also largely two-fold: how far will it reach, and will it last until Election Day?
Senator - Heidi - Heitkamp - D-ND - Answer
For incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D, the answer the first question is not good news. Considering the partisan lean of The Peace Garden State, we’d expect it to be among the first of the red states represented by vulnerable Democratic incumbents to flip.
Still, even before the controversy that led to what we are calling the Kavanaugh Collapse, the most likely scenario was for Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., to defeat Senator Heitkamp by 5 points or less. Given those current levels of enthusiasm, Republican voters were likely to make up no more than 51% of the vote juxtaposed to 27% for Democrats and 22% for...
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