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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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 124439

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32336965
Ramsey13342347
Dakota9251133
Anoka8093148
Stearns537035
Washington525967
Scott318534
Olmsted307029
St. Louis264763
Wright227614
Nobles214016
Clay203243
Blue Earth19707
Carver16957
Rice15789
Sherburne156221
Kandiyohi15494
Mower148912
Winona118918
Lyon9256
Waseca9129
Crow Wing87921
Chisago8552
Benton8415
Beltrami7687
Otter Tail7436
Todd7232
Steele7212
Itasca67617
Nicollet67317
Freeborn6324
Morrison6076
Douglas6043
Martin58616
Le Sueur5855
McLeod5703
Watonwan5674
Goodhue51111
Pine5090
Polk4924
Becker4893
Isanti4873
Chippewa3793
Carlton3781
Dodge3620
Mille Lacs3528
Pipestone32616
Wabasha3230
Cass3115
Hubbard3092
Meeker3073
Brown2983
Rock2971
Unassigned26553
Yellow Medicine2655
Cottonwood2620
Redwood25011
Murray2483
Fillmore2380
Sibley2383
Renville22911
Faribault2090
Jackson1951
Roseau1930
Swift1921
Wadena1880
Kanabec18610
Houston1811
Stevens1681
Lincoln1650
Pennington1631
Koochiching1624
Aitkin1542
Pope1480
Big Stone1270
Wilkin1244
Lac qui Parle1232
Lake1030
Mahnomen941
Norman940
Grant894
Marshall871
Clearwater760
Red Lake602
Traverse530
Lake of the Woods421
Kittson270
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 107481

Reported Deaths: 1537
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk17984282
Woodbury682088
Johnson563830
Black Hawk519196
Linn5047126
Dubuque467952
Scott404134
Story385317
Dallas329143
Pottawattamie295644
Sioux229712
Buena Vista220012
Marshall192636
Webster170014
Plymouth153925
Wapello147162
Clinton135525
Muscatine133958
Crawford130912
Cerro Gordo124923
Des Moines12139
Warren11496
Carroll10288
Jasper102034
Henry9785
Marion92410
Tama90037
Lee8719
Wright6871
Dickinson6847
Delaware6798
Boone6778
Mahaska61422
Bremer6128
Washington61011
Harrison5768
Jackson5283
Lyon5147
Benton5031
Louisa49115
Clay4844
Hamilton4433
Winnebago43716
Winneshiek4339
Hardin4285
Poweshiek42811
Kossuth4220
Floyd41511
Jones4113
Emmet39914
Buchanan3933
Cedar3855
Iowa3776
Franklin37318
Guthrie36914
Cherokee3652
Sac3643
Clayton3503
Page3470
Butler3442
Shelby3441
Madison3432
Fayette3412
Mills3361
Allamakee3278
Chickasaw3221
Clarke3123
Cass3052
Humboldt2913
Palo Alto2861
Hancock2814
Grundy2804
Calhoun2644
Osceola2480
Howard2479
Monroe23811
Mitchell2300
Monona2281
Taylor2202
Pocahontas2092
Union2094
Appanoose2013
Jefferson1901
Lucas1866
Fremont1781
Ida1772
Greene1730
Van Buren1572
Davis1554
Montgomery1555
Keokuk1401
Adair1331
Audubon1291
Decatur1290
Worth1270
Wayne1123
Ringgold822
Adams670
Unassigned190
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