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Republicans' midterms secret weapon? Brett Kavanaugh.

Republicans lost dozens of House seats and the majority in that chamber Tuesday, while simultaneously expand...

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 9:26 AM
Updated: Nov 8, 2018 9:26 AM

Republicans lost dozens of House seats and the majority in that chamber Tuesday, while simultaneously expanding their control of the Senate.

At least one factor in those countervailing results is Brett Kavanaugh.

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While now-Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, like Trump, was not popular in the country as a whole -- 43% approved of his Supreme Court nomination, according to CNN's national exit polls -- it's also true that majorities of voters in those key states where Democrats lost Senate races said his nomination was a factor in their decision.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday the confirmation process woke up Republican voters.

"I think the Republican, sort of, core voters in the states what were critical to us, were highly offended by the questioning of the presumption of innocence and the tactics," McConnell said. "And I think it was like an adrenaline shot. We were worried about lack of intensity on our side, and I think the Kavanaugh fight certainly provided that. It was extremely helpful."

Just one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted for Kavanaugh's confirmation. And while more than half of voters said Manchin's vote for Kavanaugh was not important to them, 60% said it was a factor in their decision. Manchin won those voters 56%-39%.

Just 29% said Manchin's vote was an important factor, and Manchin won those voters. In states where Democratic incumbents lost decisively -- Missouri (39%), Indiana (40%), and North Dakota (34%) -- larger portions of voters said the Kavanaugh vote was an important factor.

In North Dakota, conversely, where Democrat Heidi Heitkamp had made a show of her deliberations and ultimate rejection of Kavanaugh, 64% of voters similarly said her vote against Kavanaugh was a factor in their decision, and Heitkamp lost those voters 40%-60%.

It's a similar story in Missouri, where Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill lost her bid for re-election. She opposed Kavanaugh, and 68% of Missouri voters said her vote was a factor in their decision. She lost those voters 46%-53%. And in Indiana, where Sen. Joe Donnelly lost to Mike Braun, the Kavanaugh vote was a factor for 69% of voters and Donnelly lost them.

Sen. Jon Tester won his bid for re-election in Montana, but he narrowly lost the 69% of voters who said the Kavanaugh vote was a factor.

In Florida, where Sen. Bill Nelson currently trails Republican Gov. Rick Scott, the results on Kavanaugh were more closely divided. Fifty-six percent of voters said the Kavanaugh vote was a factor, and Nelson narrowly lost them 49% - 51%.

Interestingly, Kavanaugh's confirmation played a larger role in Nevada, where 74% of voters in the exit poll said it was a factor. And Republican Dean Heller narrowly won those voters with, 50% to Jacky Rosen's 48%. But Heller lost the race and is the only sitting Republican to lose his bid for reelection Tuesday.

The Senate map, which included 10 seats won by President Donald Trump in 2016, was extremely friendly toward Republicans -- and they were able to capitalize that because of Trump's more than 50% approval rating in many of those states, including West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and Florida.

The question about Kavanaugh was not asked in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin, all of which Trump won in 2016, and where Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Debbie Stabenow and Tammy Baldwin were re-elected.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 570667

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson834821584
Mobile45819855
Madison36785532
Tuscaloosa26757465
Shelby26612255
Montgomery25739624
Baldwin23810325
Lee16801181
Calhoun15130332
Morgan14941289
Etowah14662368
Marshall12806235
Houston11515292
Elmore10654217
St. Clair10521251
Limestone10472158
Cullman10257204
Lauderdale9991253
DeKalb9298191
Talladega8739187
Walker7594286
Autauga7419113
Jackson7269117
Blount7184139
Colbert6583142
Coffee6045131
Dale5326117
Russell465842
Chilton4645117
Covington4579125
Franklin444381
Tallapoosa4379157
Escambia420082
Chambers3852125
Dallas3688163
Clarke364462
Marion3380106
Pike324879
Lawrence3192101
Winston291072
Bibb280165
Geneva271583
Marengo258567
Barbour243461
Pickens239162
Butler236172
Hale231878
Fayette224564
Henry205145
Randolph194944
Cherokee193948
Monroe192141
Washington177139
Macon167552
Crenshaw164458
Clay162559
Cleburne159145
Lamar149538
Lowndes144354
Wilcox129231
Bullock125642
Conecuh118130
Coosa116029
Perry109928
Sumter108032
Greene97836
Choctaw63825
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