For the last week, multiple people on this site have expressed the need for Republicans to not get complacent or believe the polls that are showing a shift in their favor. These warnings must continue until election day or it’s very likely Democrats will take over the House and possibly even the Senate.
An article on The Hill by leftist pollster Douglas Schoen should be an even bigger warning for Republicans. He notes, as we’ve noted in the past, that the momentum shift following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process is fleeting. It is imperative that conservatives make a concerted effort to get as many of their friends and family to vote as possible. As Schoen says, the GOP is energized now, but Democratic women are the ones who are going to remain energized come election day.
I estimate that in one to two weeks, once Justice Kavanaugh assumes his position on the Supreme Court, we will have a much clearer sense of where the enthusiasm gap, the generic vote, and the likely turnout numbers will actually fall on Election Day. Additionally, we will then understand how the top issues of the economy, health care, immigration, and gun safety come into play for voters across the country, both in relation to and independent from the Kavanaugh controversy.
While a red wave after this Supreme Court confirmation remains unlikely by my estimation, given that Republican elites and insiders are more enthusiastic about Kavanaugh than the average voter, I believe this really needs to be assessed in about 10 days to evaluate the question with certainty. Put another way, at this point, I think there is much more certainty that Republican elites are excited and enthused.
The Kavanaugh episode demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that even with a majority, Republicans will have a hard time putting originalists on the bench. Moreover, budgets are already high with Republicans leading the House. If Democrats take it, sustaining the economy will be much more difficult.
The worst thing that can happen to the GOP is for its voters to believe they’re going to win. Fear is quite motivating and there doesn’t seem to be enough of it yet to drive Republicans to the polls. We should all be afraid. Be very afraid. Then vote.
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