Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will have to make a “Sophie’s Choice” of sorts if the midterm polls keep trending in the current direction: block Kavanaugh with “everything I’ve got,” likely losing several seats, or permit red state Dems to vote “Yes” on the SCOTUS nominee to maintain the thin divide.
Along with the tightening races in both Indiana and West Virginia, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has now fallen 10 points behind her GOP opponent as polls show voters favor the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh overwhelmingly, reports the Washington Examiner.
A new poll shows Republican challenger Rep. Kevin Cramer leading Sen. Heidi Heitkamp by a 10- point margin, with North Dakotans overwhelmingly in favor of confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Losing a race in North Dakota would make it significantly more difficult for Democrats to retake the Senate,” reports the outlet. “The poll, from Mason Dixon and North Dakota’s NBC affiliate, shows Cramer opening up a 51% to 41% lead over the Democratic incumbent.”
More importantly, the poll shows that Kavanaugh enjoys a full 60% approval rating by Heitkamp’s constituents, with only 27% opposed to him. Worse still, 21% say the confirmation of Kavanaugh is their top issue. If this trend continues across the board, especially if Democrats manage to keep the seat open through obstruction and delay, the empty SCOTUS seat could be a rallying point for Republicans come the midterms, an effect similar to when Scalia’s untimely death left a seat open for the election of 2016.
“The poll was taken after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Kavanaugh, but before last week’s hearing on the matter,” reports the Washinton Examiner. “Should Democrats lose North Dakota, it would mean that they’d have to hold all of their other Senate seats in red states, win in Arizona and Nevada, and also win in either Texas or Tennessee.”
Heitkamp has continued to remain undecided in her vote on Kavanaugh, further fueling the delay tactic among Democrats. She joins several other red-state Democrats who face tough reelection campaigns in the midst of the Kavanaugh circus. Some, like Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana, have elected to roll the dice by announcing their “No” votes. Others, like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, where Kavanaugh enjoys 59% approval, have elected to remain on the fence until the final vote on the Senate floor. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri now trails her opponent by two points.
Should Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer force all hot seat senators into voting “No” on Kavanaugh, he could very well run the risk of losing not just one but several Senate seats, sealing the Republican majority. Whether he likes it or not, the vote on Kavanaugh could become a major rallying cry for the GOP opponents who will castigate their Democratic counterparts for serving the interests of liberal elites rather than serving their constituents.