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Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process prompts GOP midterm fear

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a meeting on the global drug problem at the United Nations (UN) with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley a day ahead of the official opening of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2018 in New York City. The United Nations General Assembly, or UNGA, is expected to draw 84 heads of state and 44 heads of government in New York City for a week of speeches, talks and high level diplomacy concerning global issues. New York City is under tight security for the annual event with dozens of road closures and thousands of security officers patrolling city streets and waterways. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer
Platt/Getty Images


  • Republicans fear that a failure to confirm Supreme
    Court nominee Mitch McConnell could hurt their chances of
    keeping House and Senate majorities in the midterm
    elections.
  • Kavanaugh is facing multiple sexual misconduct
    allegations, prompting an additional hearing with the Senate
    Judiciary Committee slated for Thursday.
  • Polling suggests Republican voters are already in deep
    trouble ahead of the 2018 elections this November.

WASHINGTON — One of Republicans’ biggest selling points on the
campaign trail is the record pace of conservative federal judges
the Senate has confirmed since Donald Trump became president.

But with the scandals surrounding Supreme Court nominee
Brett Kavanaugh
putting his confirmation on thin ice, the
fear of failure is hanging over the heads of many Republicans in
tough election bids this November.

The Republican Party base rallied around Trump in 2016 in part
because of the near-yearlong Supreme Court vacancy held open by
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the wake of the sudden
death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Now, the GOP must contend with
Kavanaugh’s confirmation potentially falling apart, a move that
could be fatal for enthusiasm among the Republican base.

Republican aides and operatives fear an already unenthusiastic
base of GOP voters could be discouraged by Senate Republicans’
failure to shepherd Kavanaugh through and onto the Supreme Court.

GOP aides told Business Insider that it’s do or die with
Kavanaugh, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made
clear was their highest priority on the Senate floor Monday.

“It remains beyond reasonable dispute that
Judge Kavanaugh’s legal brilliance
and excellence on the bench make him one of the very most
qualified Supreme Court nominees in the history of our country,”
he said. “All these facts are quite clearly on
one side. Maybe that’s why the Democrats are so
panicked. Maybe that’s why they are so willing to try to bring
down this nominee.”

“I want to make it perfectly clear —
Judge 

Kavanaugh
 will be voted
on here on the Senate floor,” McConnell added. “Up or down, on
the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will
receive a vote in this Senate in the near future.”

And it is not just the political class sounding the alarm about
losing the core group of voters Republicans depend on to turnout
in November. Right wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh warned
Republicans of the consequences of not confirming Kavanaugh by
Election Day.

“If the Republicans do not get this vote taken and have
Kavanaugh confirmed, you can kiss the midterms goodbye,” Limbaugh
said on his radio show Monday. “You can kiss goodbye holding the
House and you can kiss goodbye holding the Senate. Because
whatever the Democrats think of their base, the one thing I know
that if you guys fold on this and cave and keep bending over
backwards.”

Republican voters are already unenthusiastic going into the
November midterm elections

An internal Republican Party poll reflects an already poor
environment for the GOP’s chances in November.

Bloomberg Businessweek
reported
that the Republican National Committee survey showed
many GOP voters simply do not believe the trends and data showing
big advantages for Democrats heading into the midterms. Instead,
half of Republican voters believe Trump when he talks about a
“red wave” in 2018.

And as Bloomberg Businessweek reported, the internal report
tells Republican officials that they “need to make real the
threat that Democrats have a good shot of winning control of
Congress,” or suffer the consequences.

As a result, Republicans are pulling out all the stops to
get behind the embattled nominee.

The Judicial Crisis Network, a group that has put millions
behind courting public opinion in confirming both Kavanaugh and
Trump’s previous Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch, is in the midst
of a
$1.5 million campaign
defending him. Ahead of the hearing in
which both Kavanaugh and his accuser are slated to testify on
Thursday, the conservative activist group FreedomWorks is holding
a Wednesday rally outside the US Capitol with Republican
lawmakers.

And Kavanaugh himself
went on Fox News
to try to clear his name in a highly
irregular television appearance for a nominee to such a high
office.

“The truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high
school or otherwise,” Kavanaugh told Fox host
Martha MacCallum. “I am not questioning and
have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her
life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I
know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”

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