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'Anger Is the Single Most Unifying Force': Why the 'Brett Bounce' May Put a Dent in the Blue Wave

10-17-2018
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WASHINGTON – With less than three weeks until election day, the push to galvanize voters is on – and after the contentious Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans are confident their base will turn out in force.

Kayleigh McEnany, national spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, believes GOP voters now know what's at stake in November.

"If there's anything that excites Republican voters, it's the Supreme Court," she told CBN News. "A Pew poll showed a few months ago – one month ago I should say –  a 12-point gap, Democrats ahead of Republicans. That has narrowed to just two in the wake of the post-Kavanaugh revelations and confirmation process."

Axios called it the "Brett Bounce." Up until the Kavanaugh Supreme Court fight, Democrats seemed to have most of the energy, but now the polling pendulum appears to be swinging.

In North Dakota, for example, a Fox News poll shows Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota down 12 points from her Republican challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer. Last month, she was only down 4 points.

And an NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll finds Democratic enthusiasm from earlier this year has all but disappeared.

"My sense in covering politics in 2018 is that anger is the single most unifying force, galvanizing force you can have," ABC News political director Rick Klein told CBN News.

Klein sees anger fueling both sides, and one survey gives Democrats a slight edge heading into November. The Washington Post/Schar School survey shows likely voters in 69 House districts prefer Democratic candidates to Republican candidates 50 to 46 percent.

Klein also believes the Democrats' loss in the Kavanaugh confirmation could translate to a midterm win.

"If you lose a battle there's nothing better to motivate your base to go out there and vote the next time," said Klein. "And by that, I mean Republicans. They get their Supreme Court pick. That means Democrats are going to say, 'We gotta go do something to try to change this.'"

President Donald Trump is also highlighting the Kavanaugh's confirmation and Democrats' handling of it.

"You don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob," he's said at several campaign rallies.

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