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What is the Aftermath of Kavanaugh’s Nomination in the Polls?

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Lila Joffe ‘21, Lifestyle Editor

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For my fellow students who try to stay informed about politics in our free time, it is easy to attest that the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was a wild ride, to say the least. On October 6th, by a vote of 50 to 48, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court after controversial testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford who accused him of sexual assault 30 years ago. This entire process was very emotional, for both Democrats and devoted Republicans. As the midterm elections draw closer, everyone over the age of 18 is highly encouraged to participate in their government by voting. My question is: how will Brett Kavanaugh’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court affect the midterm elections?

According to Vox.com, this appointment has animated Republican voters, who may be inspired to vote due to the so-called audacity of the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Some Republicans, including Donald Trump, believe these allegations by women such as Dr. Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and more, were a hoax orchestrated by Democrats.  Others are outraged that unsubstantiated allegations from decades past could have any impact on Kavanaugh’s stellar record. Even Trump skeptics may venture to vote Republican, possibly due to outrage at the way these allegations were handled by Democratic Senators. Grassroots fundraising for the GOP is surprisingly strong, strengthening the prospects of Republicans maintaining control of the Senate.

Evidently, women will be one of the main variables in the fight for control of the House and the Senate. It is a well-known fact that in his 2016 election, Trump benefitted from the majority of the suburban white women’s vote. As of now, it is unknown how these Kavanaugh hearings may affect these women’s votes. According to research that states between a third and a half of American women have experienced some type of sexual harassment and/or assault, it is possible that the Republicans may no longer be able to rely on such vigorous support from women in general. Many women feel as though little – if any – progress has been made since Anita Hill came forward with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace before the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court in 1991.  It is uncertain whether this perceived lack of progress in addressing these gendered issues may swing the female vote left in the midterms.

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