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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: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 819597

Reported Deaths: 15406
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147901924
Mobile725791338
Madison52306697
Shelby37597350
Baldwin37245552
Tuscaloosa35101612
Montgomery34106740
Lee23526246
Calhoun22225488
Morgan20941378
Etowah19825500
Marshall18361304
Houston17384412
St. Clair16054339
Cullman15443293
Limestone15343199
Elmore15241286
Lauderdale14302295
Talladega13836283
DeKalb12649261
Walker11202370
Blount10192176
Autauga10043148
Jackson9871184
Coffee9210191
Dale8897185
Colbert8860201
Tallapoosa7084198
Escambia6772134
Covington6712183
Chilton6641162
Russell636659
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion5005127
Dallas4973200
Pike4795106
Clarke475584
Geneva4571127
Winston4516103
Lawrence4321117
Bibb425186
Barbour357776
Marengo338090
Monroe331464
Randolph329764
Butler326396
Pickens316284
Henry312666
Hale311388
Cherokee302860
Fayette292880
Washington251551
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245275
Clay243368
Macon234663
Lamar224147
Conecuh186153
Coosa180240
Lowndes175164
Wilcox168839
Bullock151644
Perry138840
Sumter133038
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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