October 11, 2018
Republicans say the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will energize their base, driving GOP voters to the polls in next month’s midterm elections—but it’s Democrats who appear more pumped up and motivated by the nomination fight, according to findings of a Politico/Morning Consult poll of 2,189 registered voters conducted after the Senate ballot and released on October 10.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation is not popular, the pollsters say: Indeed, 46% of respondents said that the Senate “made the wrong decision” in approving the controversial judge, while a lesser 40% said it was right.
And following the GOP-led effort to push through his nomination, enthusiasm for change among Democratic voters has surged. Fully 77% of Democrats, Politico reports, say they are “very motivated” to turn out and vote in the midterms—compared to more than the 68% of Republicans who say they’re “very motivated.”
Prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, some polls had shown an uptick in GOP interest in this year’s elections. And it’s possible the fight over his nomination may have more positive effects for Republicans in key red states in the battle for control of the Senate — like Indiana, Missouri, Montana and , according to the political news outlet.
But the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll suggests that Republicans’ decision to confirm Kavanaugh lacks broad support and has animated Democrats with only four weeks to go until President Donald Trump’s first midterm election.
“Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation battle appears to be a significant motivator, as voter enthusiasm for the upcoming midterms has hit its highest point since Morning Consult and POLITICO began tracking the issue,” commented Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “In this week’s poll, 70% of voters say they are very motivated to vote — including 77% of Democrats, 68% of Republicans, and 60% of independents. One month ago, 64% said they were very motivated — including 67% of Democrats, 69% of Republicans, and 55% of independents.”
Research contact: @POLITICO_Steve