The Fat Lady Warms Up

fat lady sings

On Morning Joe, Steve Kornacki—who is nobody’s fool when it comes to political numbers—discussed new polling showing that the Republicans have a head of steam in many of the Senate races.

By contrast, at 5:25 AM this morning, Political posted Poll: Kavanaugh confirmation energizes Democrats more than GOP:

Republicans are touting the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as rocket fuel for the GOP grass roots in next month’s midterm elections, but it’s Democrats who appear more energized by the nomination fight, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation is not popular: In the poll, which was conducted entirely after last week’s Senate vote, 46 percent of voters said the Senate “made the wrong decision” in approving the controversial judge, while 40 percent said it was right to elevate him to the high court.

And following the GOP-led effort to push through his nomination, enthusiasm among Democratic voters has surged. More than 3 in 4 Democrats (77 percent) say they are “very motivated” to turn out and vote in the midterms — more than the 68 percent of Republicans who say they’re “very motivated.”

Prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, some polls had showed an uptick in GOP interest in this year’s elections. And it’s possible the fight over his nomination may have more positive effects for Republicans in key red states in the battle for control of the Senate — like Indiana, Missouri, Montana and North Dakota — than nationally, where Kavanaugh is less popular.

And Here is Something Else That is Possible

As long as we are speaking of things that might possibly be true, it’s possible that some of those red state Republican women are telling the pollsters—with their husbands listening in—that they are going to vote Republican this November, when in fact they intend to do the opposite.

Inasmuch as my name is not Rosy Scenario, I make no predictions. But it is possible.


“Is Trump Driving Women Away From the GOP for Good?” Asks Politico

pussy hat

E.J. Graft writes this morning,

Republican women still overwhelmingly support the president—84 percent of them, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll this week. But that statistic overlooks a broader trend: Fewer and fewer American women identify as Republicans, and that slow migration is speeding up under Trump. …

The gender gap began with white men leaving the Democratic Party in the late 1950s and early 1960s in response to the civil rights and women’s movements, Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg explains. Only more recently did women start actively leaving the GOP. For two decades now, they have been leaking away from the Republican Party, very slowly becoming independents, while independents have been drifting toward the Democrats. In 1994, according to Pew, 42 percent of women identified as or leaned Republican, as did 52 percent of men. By 2017, only 37 percent of women and 48 percent of men still did. In 1994, 48 percent of women and 39 percent of men identified as or leaned toward the Democrats. By 2017, those numbers were 56 percent of women and 44 percent of men.

Trump’s election put this gender shift “on steroids,” Greenberg says. According to Pew, the share of American women voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party has dropped 3 percentage points since 2015—from 40 percent to 37 percent—after having been essentially unchanged from 2010 through 2014. By 2017, just 25 percent of American women fully identified as Republicans. That means that when, say, 84 percent of Republican women say they approve of Trump and his actions, or 69 percent of Republican women say they support Kavanaugh, or 64 percent say they, like Trump, don’t find Ford very “credible,” those percentages represent a small and shrinking slice of American women.

These shifts in party allegiance might seem mild, but they matter. As Rutgers political scientist Kelly Dittmar recently wrote, women have voted in higher numbers and at higher rates than men for decades. In 2016, according to Dittmar, 9.9 million more women than men voted, and about 63 percent of eligible females voted, compared with 59 percent of eligible males. If more women than men vote in November, women’s shift toward the Democrats is likely to be over-represented on Election Day—especially in an election like this one, in which women are highly mobilized and motivated. The Cook Political Report’s Amy Walters recently noted: “The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey found that [white college-educated women] support a Democrat for Congress by 22 points—58 percent to 36 percent. In 2014, they preferred a Democratic Congress by just 2 points.”

The Train Roars Through Gender Gap


“The Opposition to Kavanaugh Can Be Emotional”

Bloomberg reports,

When it comes to Kavanaugh, voters are split, especially between men and women. Women, by 15 percentage points, think Kavanaugh should not be confirmed (26 percent yes, 41 percent no), according to an Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 adults taken earlier this week. Men, meanwhile, narrowly back his confirmation, 41 percent to 36 percent. Support for Kavanaugh’s nomination had already dropped to less than half among Republican women, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll, before Thursday’s hearing.

The opposition to Kavanaugh can be emotional.

You don’t say!

I am so tired.

The train is very, very urgent. It is moving a man’s career forward. It is very difficult to get the train to stop.

The presumption is that the train will not stop. The presumption is that you will be a scream thrown on the tracks. That it will require a great many of you to be thrown onto the tracks before the train will grind to a halt. It can never be just the one; it must be several at once. Someday we will know the precise conversion. We will tell them: Do not bother unless there are 20 others like you, because the train will continue, and you will be crushed. …

To make the train stop, you must throw yourself in front. Your whole self. Your fear of flying. Your family.

You must throw yourself in front of the train, but still it may not be enough. These trains move very fast. We must not ask why. …

In the Bible, Thomas says he will not believe what Jesus has survived unless he can stick his hand into the wounds. But this is not a reasonable thing to ask of someone who is not God, to stick your hand into their wound. I am tired of watching people become wounds. Half the Internet is a wound. Have you stuck your hand in it enough? …

Even as she testified Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford kept apologizing. (“I’m sorry,” she said. “I can read fast!” she said. She was here to be “helpful,” she said.)

Someday I want to not be tired.
Someday I want us not to apologize.

Women are used to squinting to see our own stories in the stories of others. To reading ourselves into the words “all men are created equal.” To being the thing tied to the tracks to raise the stakes.

Alexandra Petri, It is very difficult to get the train to stop

Enumerating Embryonic Poultry While Embracing the Gender Gap

counting chickens

We are entering a very volatile week. I hope that I, along with all my progressive brethren and sistern, have not become too complacent about our midterm prospects.

That said, I want to share with you the Washington Post’s lengthy thumbsucker about the widening gender gap: The party of men: Kavanaugh fight risks worsening the Trump GOP’s gender problem. Key paragraph (among many, many paragraphs):

“What we did in the 2016 election is trade fast-growing, well-educated suburban counties for slower-growing, less well-educated small town and rural counties,” Republican pollster Whit Ayres said. “That worked for Donald Trump in 2016, by the hair of his chinny chin chin, but it’s not a formula for long-term success.”

Also, this piece from today’s Noo Yak Times: Kavanaugh Was Supposed to Be a Midterm Boon for G.O.P. Not Anymore.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — No Republican Senate candidate has been as aggressive in using the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh as a political weapon as Josh Hawley, the Missouri attorney general who is in an intensely tight race against Senator Claire McCaskill.

A former Supreme Court clerk, Mr. Hawley made his first campaign commercial about control of the court, and he assailed Ms. McCaskill for refusing to say if she would support Judge Kavanaugh. And after the accusation of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh last week, Mr. Hawley denounced Democrats for staging an “ambush.”

Yet in Missouri and other politically competitive battleground states, leaders in both parties are increasingly doubtful that Mr. Hawley and other Republicans can wield the Kavanaugh nomination as a cudgel without risking unpredictable repercussions in the midterm elections.

Which metaphor shall we choose?

They made their bed and now they have to lie in it?


Or, how about, they hitched their wagon to the wrong damn star?

This Morning’s Washington Post/ABC Poll

Thank God for the Nineteenth Amendment!

Poll: Democrats regain clear advantage in midterms shaping up as referendum on President Trump:

When asked whether they would rather have Democrats control Congress “as a check on Trump” or a Republican-controlled Congress “to support Trump’s agenda,” 60 percent of voters say they prefer having Democrats in control. In July 2017, that figure was 52 percent, at a time when Trump’s job ratings were almost identical to today.

Meanwhile, 59 percent of voters say it is extremely or very important for them to support a candidate who shares their opinion of Trump, a figure that has grown seven points since April. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Republicans say they are seeking candidates with similar views of the president, suggesting that Trump is a motivator for both his supporters and his opponents.

The gender gap in views of Trump continues to be a key factor looking ahead to the fall campaign, with the Post-ABC poll finding 66 percent of female registered voters disapproving of Trump, including 59 percent who disapprove “strongly.” Among men, 52 percent disapprove, 45 percent strongly.

Vote preferences show a similar divide, with men basically split in support for Democratic or Republican House candidates, but women favoring Democrats by 58 percent to 33 percent, a 25-point margin. Women are also nine points more likely than men to say it’s important for congressional candidates to share their views on Trump.

Americans sense high stakes for the November elections, which could boost turnout from a half-century low point in 2014. Nearly two-thirds of registered voters say it is more important to vote now than in past midterms. Democratic-leaning voters are more likely than Republican-leaning voters to say that voting this fall is more important than in previous midterm years, by 75 percent to 57 percent.

Confusion Worse Compounded: Trump’s Wedge Politics


Trump tariffs tear Republicans apart: Senate Republicans want to rein him in, but the House GOP isn’t going there.

Farm groups go on anti-tariff blitz after Trump offers trade aid


Americans don’t think President Trump has been tough enough on Russia, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after Trump’s summit in Helsinki last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nearly two-thirds said so, and it wasn’t just Democrats. Almost half of Republicans surveyed (47 percent) also said Trump hasn’t been tough enough on Russia, with just 20 percent saying he has taken about the right approach.

As to whether Trump should view Putin as a friend or foe, Americans are nearly evenly split, with 45 percent saying he should be seen as an enemy and 44 percent saying he is an ally. That might be a surprise to those who grew up in the Cold War era, but partisanship might have something to do with it. Among GOP voters, 58 percent view the Russian leader as an ally. …

But a whopping 72 percent of Americans said they have faith in the CIA’s and FBI’s conclusions about the assessment of the Russian election interference, compared with just 15 percent who believe Putin’s denials. Trump has said Putin strongly denies any involvement. Eighty-six percent of Democrats say they believe the intelligence community over Putin, and 63 percent of GOP voters say the same thing. However, 21 percent of Republicans do say they believe Putin’s dismissals. …

Female voters say they prefer Democrats this fall by a 21-point margin, 54 percent to 33 percent. Republicans win men by 9 points, 48 percent to 39 percent.

Negative opinions of Trump are pronounced among women. Trump’s job approval has remained relatively static — still underwater at 39 percent approval to 51 percent disapproval among all Americans. But there is a staggering 43-point gender gap with 62 percent of women disapproving of Trump’s job and half of men approving of his performance.



Aardvark welcomes recent readers from Martinique and from French Guiana. The Aardvarks hope to visit you soon on Martinique. Don’t know when we’ll make it Guiana.

The Bad News and the Good News


The bad news: men, especially Republican men, are not a credit to their gender.

The good news: Trump’s orgiastic misogyny and hatefulness are doing a splendid job of pissing off the women.

Dan Balz writes,

Among self-identified Republicans, Trump’s approval is 91 percent among men and 82 percent among women. But the gap in intensity of support is what is particularly telling. While 68 percent of male Republicans say they strongly approve of the way Trump is handling his job, just 31 percent of female Republicans say the same — a whopping 37-point difference.

There is a double-digit difference between all men and women in their evaluation of Trump’s handling of immigration, and likewise among Republican men and women. On trade, Republican men and women are in general agreement in giving positive marks, but they are widely separated in whether they feel strongly about that support. …

Distrust of the president is greater among women. Women are more likely to say the president is damaging important American values rather than protecting them: 54 percent to 29 percent. By 76 percent to 24 percent, they say the president tells the truth only some of the time or hardly ever rather than all or most of the time. Among men, it’s 59 percent to 41 percent.

Men narrowly trust Trump over Democrats in Congress to handle immigration. But women feel the opposite, by 41 percent to 19 percent. By almost 2 to 1, men trust Trump more than Democrats to deal with border security; among women, it’s an almost even split. Men are split evenly on the construction of a border wall; women oppose it by a 26-point margin. Among Republicans, about 8 in 10 men and 7 in 10 women favor building the wall.