May 27th, 2020


The Kavanaugh Backlash

Dick Morris

By Dick Morris

Published Oct. 5,2018

The Kavanaugh Backlash

Democrats overreached in their opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation. It may cost them the House and the Senate.

The blatant partisanship and the spectacle of the women accusing the judge of sexual misconduct 35 years ago put the true face of the current Democratic Party on display for all to see. And it was far from pretty.

The radicalism, rashness and rudeness of the party's new faithful was disgusting to many swing voters and suggested to them that they dare not trust these folks with the majority. The fact is that they have been even more extreme and beyond-the-pale than Trump has been lately.

The evidence is becoming unmistakable. From the polling after the Kavanaugh hearings:

The Republican Party has soared to a seven-year high in favorability ratings. After lagging behind the Democratic Party by 5 to 10 points, the Republican Party is now 1 point ahead. Gallup shows the Republicans to 45 percent favorable and the Democratic Party 44 percent. The GOP was last ahead in 2011 and 2014, as it captured the House and then the Senate.

The generic ballot (Which party's candidate would you vote for?) has closed, according to the independent Quinnipiac University Poll, from a 14-point Democratic edge last month to only 7 points today. Because of the way districts are drawn, Democrats need to be more than 5 points ahead to win Congress.

The gap in enthusiasm between the parties has closed. In September, the Democrats were 12 points ahead. Now their lead is down to 3.

President Donald Trump's job approval stands at 43.8 percent, the highest it has been since July and 3 points higher than it was three weeks ago, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

It takes time for shifts in public attitudes to be picked up by polls in each particular House and Senate race, but the overall trend is now quite positive.

And all this data comes before Senate action on Kavanaugh's confirmation. If he is confirmed, which looks likely, we can expect a further bump in the Republican ratings.

On Kavanaugh: A recent poll in a swing state showed a 14-point margin of support for confirming Kavanaugh, but only a 3-point negative margin in believing the charges against him. So a sizable portion of the electorate was agnostic on the charges but wanted him confirmed anyway — saying that the charges themselves were not that serious.

Dick Morris, who served as adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 16 books, including his latest, Screwed and Here Come the Black Helicopters.