Poll: Amid Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle, Democratic Enthusiasm Edge Evaporates

Poll: Amid Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle, Democratic Enthusiasm Edge Evaporates

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll was conducted Monday. These questions were asked of 996 registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have been hopeful about making big gains in the midterm elections, but a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows Republican enthusiasm surging.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Just over a month away from critical elections across the country, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were “very important.” Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie.

Don’t see the graphic above? Click here.

Democrats’ advantage on which party’s candidate they are more likely to support has also been cut in half since last month. Democrats still retain a 6-point edge on that question, but it was 12 points after a Marist poll conducted in mid-September.

The results come amid the pitched and hotly partisan confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Multiple women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college. He categorically denies all the allegations. The FBI is conducting a supplemental investigation into the accusations that is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this week.

With Democrats already fired up for this election, the Kavanaugh confirmation fight has apparently had the effect of rousing a dormant GOP base.

“The result of hearings, at least in the short run, is the Republican base was awakened,” noted Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

While Democrats and Republicans are now equally enthusiastic about the midterms, the story is very different for key Democratic base groups and independents. While 82 percent of Democrats say the midterms are very important, that’s true of just 60 percent of people under 30, 61 percent of Latinos and 65 percent of independents.

Democrats need to net 23 seats to take back control of the House, but if those groups stay home in large numbers, it would blunt potential Democratic gains. With 34 days to go until Election Day, it all points to another election dominated by party activists.

“If there aren’t 34 dramatic moments [between now and then], it will be ‘my base versus your base,’ ” Miringoff said. He noted that the Republican move to push Kavanaugh’s confirmation forward, despite his unpopularity and that more people believe accuser Christine Blasey Ford than Kavanaugh, appears to be intended to fire up the GOP base in hopes of retaining control of Congress.

“The Republicans’ approach has been, and continues to be, all about the base,” Miringoff said. “This is their M.O., and that’s what we’re seeing. That works if turnout is not high.”


The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll was conducted Monday. These questions were asked of 996 registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

3 responses to “Poll: Amid Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle, Democratic Enthusiasm Edge Evaporates

  1. I’m voting blank Republican. I was already pretty disgusted with the DNC, but after this Kavanaugh Witch Hunt, I honestly might never in my lifetime vote for Democrats again. Not if this is ultimately what their party is all about at heart, the vicious and ruthless pursuit of power at any cost, without regard for individual rights, due process, or for the presumption of innocence. The attack on Brett Kavanaugh’s rights was an attack on all of our rights, men and women alike, anybody who might ever be falsely accused of ANYTHING was attacked when they came at him the way they did. Pretty much all of the criticisms that could have been rightly leveled at Republicans in the 80s and 90s can now be leveled at Democrats and progressives, just because it comes from a more secular place doesn’t mean it’s not the same kind of authoritarian moralizing and rationalizations of the ends justify the means, no matter what the cost; that’s why I joined the GOP when Trump ran, he represented death of the old school religious right, the birth of an individualistic, ‘America 1st’, results oriented Republican Party, and a stand against the moralizing and fascism of the Democrats (which, if you really dig into their history, has always been what the DNC has been about, I just didn’t realize it until fairly but Dinesh D’Souza’s film, Death of a Nation, touches on a lot of it).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. williamjamesward

    The entirety of the charges against Judge Kavanaugh were a demeaning
    and scandalous fraud. The nausiating spectacle advanced by the leftist
    traitors to the Constitution while demeaning a good man in a public
    forum where he was being viewed for confirmation to our highest
    and Supreme court was criminal. The base charge was rediculous
    in it’s entirety and drawn up from and animal house mentality with
    the desire to sideline and obfuscate the confirmation process. The
    very idea that delaying the confirmation until after the next election
    was excedingly obvious. It may be the last nail in the Democrats
    coffin for the vast majority of Americans that were educated within
    schools that taught ethics, morals, American History and Civics.
    The left has worn out their slow move to our destruction and now
    is in our face, they will not survive the pushback, we must take
    back our schools and bring back the Scriptures in order to straighten
    out thinking towards righteous living…………………….William

    Liked by 1 person

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