In his Washington Post article, “This is not what a pro-Kavanaugh electoral backlash looks like,” Philip Bump writes,
There are certainly signs that the partisan fight over Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court goosed Republican enthusiasm for the midterm elections.
“This has actually produced an incredible surge of interest among these Republican voters going into the fall election,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said to USA Today after the final vote to confirm Kavanaugh. “We’ve all been perplexed about how to get our people as interested as we know the other side is — well, this has done it.”
A survey by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist released last week indicated that McConnell’s excitement might be warranted: After trailing Democrats in enthusiasm during the summer, Republican enthusiasm for voting has caught up.
However, Bump adds that “a new CNN-SSRS poll suggests that the most enthusiastic voters are not those Americans most interested in rising to Kavanaugh’s defense…Those most enthusiastic about voting are much more negative on Kavanaugh than those not very enthusiastic about voting next month.”
Also, Bump notes, “CNN also asked voters which party’s congressional candidates they preferred. Among all voters, the Democrats had a nine-point advantage…Among those voters most likely to vote, the advantage was 13 points, up from 10 points before the Kavanaugh fight.”
Moreover, in his post at The Optimistic Leftist, “Is the Generic House Ballot Going Back Up?” Ruy Teixeira notes:
Some of us thought that once Kavanaugh was confirmed, the Democrats might start actually doing better on the House level, as Democratic anger crystallized and Republican hyper-engagement subsided. Recent results suggest that may be happening–emphasis on the “may” because it’s still too early to know for sure. But Ipsos’ new release reports a +12 Democratic lead on the generic and CNN’s has a +13 Democratic lead; these new releases have sent the Democrats’ lead in the 538 rolling aggregate back over 8 points.
So Mitch and Trump can keep on beating the Kavanaugh-as-victim drum. But it appears that it doesn’t provide much value added for the GOP in terms of the midterm elections. Indeed, it may be quite the opposite, as more conservative voters decide that the Kavanaugh confirmation is old news and move on to more immediate concerns.