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Oct 5, 2018

The politics minute: will a 'Brett bounce' dent Democrats' midterm chances? | US news I The Guardian


Erin Durkin
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A Republican upside in the Kavanaugh fight

Some Republicans are calling it the “Brett bounce” – the idea that they’ll benefit in the midterm elections from a surge in enthusiasm among GOP voters driven by anger over the Brett Kavanaugh supreme court confirmation fight. “Prior to the Kavanaugh hearing, the intensity level was really on the Democratic side,” House majority leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News. “But in the last week there has been a fundamental shift.”
Is this real? It’s hard to know. An NPR poll found that Democrats’ “enthusiasm advantage” has disappeared, and Democratic candidates’ lead in a generic ballot poll shrank, though they remained ahead. But while the Kavanaugh fight has riled parts of the GOP base, that anger could dissipate quickly if the party gets what it wants – namely the judge’s confirmation.
Mirror image Meanwhile, Democratic activists are just as angry (or even angrier) , and have argued Republicans handling of Kavanaugh could alienate women voters, including independents, and help boost a blue wave.

GOP sticks with white men for governor

As Democrats have fielded a historically diverse field of candidates this year, Republicans have gone the other way: in 36 elections for governor, the party has no black or Hispanic nominees, the New York Times reported. The vast majority of the 36 candidates are white men.
How did this happen? The field is notably white and male even for Republicans, who in recent years have elected governors like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. It comes, of course, after the rise of Donald Trump, whose base is among the white working class, and whose comments disparaging Muslims, Mexicans, African nations, and others have alienated many non-whites.
Steele’s wisdom “It’s not complicated,” Michael Steele, the former chairman of Republican National Committee, told the Times. “These efforts have been made more difficult by the ugly rhetoric coming from this president when it comes to issues of race.”

Progressive party bends to New York’s Cuomo

New York’s progressive Working Families Party, whose activists condemned Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the harshest terms while backing his primary challenger Cynthia Nixon, voted this week to offer Cuomo their ballot line.
Better the devil you know After Cuomo defeated Nixon by a 30-point margin, many in the party wanted to avoid acting as a spoiler and helping the Republican nominee, Marc Molinaro.
And also self-interest Just as important is an arcane provision of state election law: to keep its place on the ballot, a party’s nominee must get 50,000 votes in the general election, which could be hard to do without an active candidate. In a further indignity for the liberal party, Cuomo wouldn’t immediately say if he would accept the nomination.

Poll of the day

North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp, one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the Senate, is now trailing Republican challenger Kevin Cramer by 12 points, 53% to 41%, according to a new Fox News poll. The gap was only 4 points last month.
What’s going on here? The North Dakota race is one of a handful that have been roiled by the Kavanaugh fight. Heitkamp announced Thursday she would vote no on the nomination, despite facing a tight re-election fight in a conservative state. Her brother said the vote may hurt her chances of winning, but at least she’ll be able to look at herself in the mirror. The Democrats, however, may not win control of the Senate.

Ad of the day

In a new get out the vote ad, a series of seniors taunt younger Americans about voting. “We’ll be there. I bet you won’t,” one senior says in the ad by Knock the Vote. “Tax cuts for the rich? Hell yeah. I’m rich as f---,” another elderly man says.
Why is this necessary? For all the anger in the political sphere, many Americans are notably unenthusiastic about voting in the midterms. Data has consistently shown young people are less likely to vote than their older counterparts. Generation X, millennials and the post-millennial generation make up a clear majority of voting-eligible adults, according to the Pew Research Center, but a majority of actual midterm voters will likely be Baby Boomers and older.