Senate Brief: The GOP’s October Flop

Week of Monday, October 1.

IN BRIEF: Welcome to October. The start of this month typically signals a shift in campaign messaging towards closing arguments and GOTV. But after a string of major flops, GOP Senate candidates are having a tough time giving voters something to turn out for.

  • Republican Senate candidates apparently didn’t get this memo. While all eyes were on Washington last week, GOP Senate candidates across the country continued spouting insensitive, even offensive comments about Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegation and testimony. Some of their choice words? “Lies. Smear tactics,” “Skeptical,” “Sketchy,” “Ambush,” “PR stunt.”
  • Focused on a short-term win, Republicans are underestimating the lasting effects of Blasey Ford’s testimony on an electorate sharply attuned to the #MeToo conversation. Republican Senate candidates’ aggressive double-down on Kavanaugh is less likely to inspire their base, and more likely to suppress support from female voters who saw themselves in Blasey Ford, not Kavanaugh.

THREE TO WATCH:

  • Rick Scott earned a “Pants on Fire” from Politifact for calling Bill Nelson a “socialist” on the campaign trail. Because nothing says “desperate” like throwing around an old GOP bugaboo.
  • Leah Vukmir is under fire after raising money from the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their support of conversion therapy and criminalizing homosexuality. P.S. — FRC is also a major ally of Josh Hawley.
  • Martha McSally and her Republican allies have been labeled “morally bankrupt” for picking apart her opponent’s childhood poverty. Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini blasted the national GOP for a tasteless press release they titled “Help Me, I’m Poor.” McSally’s take? Crickets.

THREE NUMBERS:

  • 27. Percentage of all women voters who say Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
  • 39. Percentage of all women voters who say Kavanaugh should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
  • 18. Points by which Kavanaugh’s support among Republican women dropped following Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegation.

*Numbers from Morning Consult/ Politico.

ONE FOR THE ROAD: Doo Wop (That Thing),” by Lauryn Hill (1998). 

AND HAPPY MONDAY from American Bridge. Follow us at @AmeliaPenniman @EmmaBeckerman1