Senate confirms 15 more judges, wrapping up a GOP priority

Leslie Hanson
October 12, 2018

McConnell described demonstrators "literally storming the steps" of the Capitol, and pointedly noted that these activities followed last year's shooting of GOP lawmakers at a morning baseball practice.

The rapid confirmation of judges comes days after the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination gripped Washington and brought the Senate to a standstill. Before Kavanaugh got a seat on the court, several polls were finding the opposite. The nation's reckoning with power and who to believe about sexual misconduct has generated a new anger factor among the electorate and made the November 6 balloting a referendum on more than US President Donald Trump.

"I'm increasingly optimistic that we may hold our majority", McConnell said. He added Monday that the fight over Kavanaugh, particularly that his nomination was stymied by unproven allegations, injected the GOP with an "adrenaline shot that we had not been able to figure out how to achieve in any other way".

What's unclear is whether GOP unity is enough to preserve the GOP power in Congress.

Both parties have detected a surge in engagement among GOP and conservative voters since the nation's attention was grabbed by the confirmation battle over Kavanaugh, including allegations of sexual misconduct that he denied. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, was already back in her home state campaigning as senators pushed through the nominees. In a Quinnipiac University National Poll released October 2, 49 percent of voters said they support the Democratic candidate in their local race for the House of Representatives while 42 percent back the Republican candidate.

Then on Saturday, Democratic Sen. Republican men continue to be more enthusiastic than Democratic men to cast their ballot; the opposite is the case between Democratic and Republican women.

Liberal activist groups opposed to more Republican judicial confirmations were furious with the prospect of another deal that would place more judges on the bench who have been handpicked by President Donald Trump.

The first complaint, though, was filed September 10 - before the sexual assault allegation came out - and accuses Kavanaugh of lying when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing in early September that he hadn't received information stolen from Senate Democrats when he was working in the White House in the early 2000s. Maggie Hassan told reporters on Wednesday.

More: Polls show Kavanaugh gave GOP an election boost.

Now it's a four-week race to tell the story. Some Republicans said they received death threats.

"I think that for Utah embracing Trump is embracing lying and cheating and incivility and I don't think most Utahns are OK with that", Thomas said. While no one knows if that energy will last until Election Day, Democratic voters driven by an animus toward Trump until now were far more motivated.

"The tendency to draw dramatic conclusions from fragments of data, whispers of alleged movement in polling or supposed anecdotes from a particular campaign is nearly uncontrollable in the final few weeks before an election", forecaster Stuart Rothenberg warned Tuesday, declaring himself "skeptical the Kavanaugh fight will fundamentally change next month's outcomes".

Trump is expected to spread that message over multiple campaign rallies, including this week in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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