We’ve heard a lot about the possible discouragement of conservative GOP “base” voters if Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is withdrawn or defeated. Here are two experts on the subject agreeing:
That’s probably an accurate assessment of the rage that will consume loyal Dittoheads and MAGA Men if their new hero goes down. But those aren’t the only voters Republicans will need on November 6. And there is fresh evidence that another category of voters Republicans will need on November 6 is not reacting with pleasure to the crusade for Kavanaugh:
Public support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat has dropped to its lowest point since President Donald Trump nominated him in July, driven in large part by a sector of the president’s base: Republican women …
[Since last week] Kavanaugh’s net support among Republicans — the share who oppose his confirmation subtracted from those who support it — dropped 11 points, with 58 percent now in support of his confirmation and 14 percent opposed. The shift was driven by an 18-point fall in support among Republican women, with 49 percent now in favor and 15 percent in opposition.
And the growing aversion to Kavanaugh among Republican women seems to be tainting the man who nominated him:
[V]iews of Trump over the past week have been dragged down alongside those of his nominee. Seventy-two percent of GOP voters now approve of the president and 23 disapprove, down 16 points since the poll last week. (The results for GOP voters have a 4-point margin of error.)
Among GOP women, the drop was 19 points since last week, with 68 percent approving and 26 percent disapproving.
That’s a pretty rapid deterioration, and it’s probably not a coincidence that it occurred when the airwaves and the internet was full of discussion about women’s allegations against Kavanaugh and Republican men dismissing them.
Now some will point out that a majority of white women voted for Trump in 2016 despite even worse and certainly more-numerous allegations being made against him — not to mention all the other indications of his piggishness. But that was in the comparative environment of a presidential election. Midterms tend to be straightforward referenda on presidential performance. And Trump’s performance in promoting Kavanaugh and sliming his female accusers may not be going over that well.
So Republicans may have gotten themselves into a jam wherein one segment of their coalition wants Republicans to go to the mattresses for Kavanaugh and another finds him questionable if not objectionable. Perhaps before they yell and scream and hurl insults at the women in the way of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, they should consider a broader definition of the “base” to which they are appealing.