Democrats may have seriously miscalculated when they decided to mount an unprecedented campaign of character assassination against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. There could be hope for this country yet.
The latest IBD/TIPP poll finds not only that President Donald Trump gained four points in his approval rating, and 7% in the exclusive Presidential Leadership Index. But the Democrats' 11-point advantage in the generic ballot has been all but vaporized. It's now down to 2 points, with just a month to go until the midterm elections.
That's a sudden and stunning turnaround that can only be explained by the public's horrified reaction to the Democrats unhinged attacks on Kavanaugh.
Over the past two weeks — the time when the IBD/TIPP Poll was in the field — leaders of that party accused Kavanaugh of sexual abuse, gang rape, binge drinking, perjury, the wrong "temperament," and anything else they could think of. It was a shocking display.
And every time Democrats got their way, they demanded more. They repeatedly called for a hearing so Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford could tell her — uncorroborated and inconsistent — story from 36 years ago to the nation. When Democrats got that wish granted, they repeatedly demanded a meaningless FBI "investigation" into her accusation, along with others that were far less credible.
When Republicans caved to that demand, the FBI interviewed witnesses. They found nothing damning. Now Democrats are saying that the FBI is engaged in a cover-up.
We are not making this up.
Our poll isn't the only one showing the public recoiling at the sorry spectacle put on by the Democratic Party.
An NPR/PBS/Marist poll finds that enthusiasm for the November midterm elections has skyrocketed among GOP voters. The share of Republicans who say the elections are "very important" shot up 12 points since July, and now closely matches Democrats.
(The IBD/TIPP Poll asked this question for the first time in our current poll, and showed similar results.)
More Evidence of Kavanaugh Blowback
Since mid-September, the Real Clear Politics average of polls showed Trump's approval climbing more than three points. Democrats' advantage on the generic ballot question has dropped from 9 points to 7.7 points (and that was before IBD's number made it into the RCP average).
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee reports that its small-dollar donations surged 175% over the past week, compared with the same time in the previous month.
McClatchy news service quotes GOP pollster Chris Wilson, who says she's seen gains in support for Republican candidates in Arizona, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas over the past week.
The latest NBC North Dakota News survey shows incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is now down by 10 points, a significant drop from its June poll.
Jolted Into Reality
As McClatchy put it: "The nomination fight over Kavanaugh appears to have jolted a wide range of Republican voters, including both women and men, Trump loyalists — who are now remembering that they voted for him in part because of the Supreme Court — and Republicans who don't like the president."
Jolted is right.
GOP voters, and no doubt many independents, suddenly realized what has become of today's Democratic Party. Captured by extremists, willing to do anything to win. The Kavanaugh spectacle is just a taste of what the party has in store should they gain majorities in Congress.
All this said, the chances remain good that Democrats will regain control of the House. The history of midterm elections alone points to a gain big enough to overcome the relatively narrow GOP majority. If they don't, they will have only themselves to blame.
The rest of the country, however, would be able to breathe a sigh of relief that the politics of personal destruction failed.
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