Last week, I asked if the GOP will get a needed bump out of Kavanaugh and answered that it appeared they would, at least in the contest for control of the U.S. Senate. I also declared that President Trump and the Republican Party are losing the Midwest because that’s the one Trump-friendly region of the country that moves away from the president when things get polarized over workers’ vs. corporate interests. Overall, however, the increased polarization resulting from Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has greatly benefitted the Republicans’ bid to keep Mitch McConnell in his position as Senate Majority Leader. The Supreme Court also lent a hand last week by doing nothing about the mass disenfranchisement of Native Americans under North Dakota’s new election law that prevents anyone who has a P.O. Box rather than a residential street address from voting, possibly (and dishonorably) crippling Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s chances of winning reelection.
A consistent theme in my analysis of the Kavanaugh issue was that it would have a divergent effect, making Democratic control of the House more likely while making a takeover of the Senate harder than ever. Nate Silver openly cops to the fact that he was initially dubious of this prediction:
At first, I was a little skeptical of the narrative that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process could send the House and Senate moving in opposite directions. Usually in politics, a rising tide lifts all boats — so whichever party benefited from the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation would expect to see its fortunes improve in both its best states and districts and its worst ones.