The Nation: For Red-State Democrats, There Is Only One Choice: Vote ‘No’ on Kavanaugh
An allegation of attempted rape leveled at US Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick for Supreme Court Justice, has put the nomination process in flux, and (at least momentarily) changed the political dynamic for Senate Republicans trying hard to push the confirmation through ahead of the November elections. But for so-called “red-state Democrats”—Democratic senators up for reelection this year in states won by Trump in 2016—the politics of a Kavanaugh vote remain decidedly stable: A “No” on confirmation is not only consistent with the ideals of the party; it is also the way to win.
…Talking heads and media pundits have presented the Kavanaugh nomination as a difficult choice for senators like Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, or West Virginia’s Joe Manchin—one that pits rejecting Kavanaugh against keeping their Senate seats. But new data from Demand Justice and YouGov Blue suggests it’s a false dichotomy: Kavanaugh does not enjoy majority support of the electorate in any key states; independent and undecided voters don’t expect a Kavanaugh vote to affect their election choice; and, perhaps most critically, voting for Kavanaugh risks demobilizing the base Democratic voters red-state senators will need to survive.