Oct 1, 2018

Red-state Democrats face GOP wrath over Kavanaugh

Trump supporters and a Jon Tester supporter at a Trump rally in Montana. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There's been more speculation in recent weeks that a Democratic-controlled Senate after the midterms isn't out of the question. But Republicans may be able to use the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight against the Democratic senators in states President Trump won in 2016.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court battle has become a headache for both sides. Republicans are not backing down from trying to get him through even after the sexual assault allegations. And now red-state Democrats are facing their wrath, as Republicans gamble that Dems' opposition to Kavanaugh will hurt them more than it helps.

What they're saying: After Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly announced his decision to vote against Kavanaugh, the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List visited "more than 345,000 Indiana voters’ homes to educate them on Sen. Donnelly’s record," per WashPost. They called it "a profound betrayal" and predicted that Indiana voters "will remember this at the ballot box in November."

  • Missouri: Sen. Claire McCaskill's opponent Josh Hawley tweeted: "Dems & [McCaskill] orchestrated a smear campaign to delay the vote long enough for Dems to seize control. This was never about Kavanaugh. It was about undoing 2016 election and getting power."
  • Montana: Sen. Jon Tester is getting heat from the Republican National Committee:

The big picture: The Kavanaugh fight is one reason David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report is skeptical that Democrats have a shot at the Senate. "I'm not necessarily buying it," he emailed. "Keep in mind, Kavanaugh is still viewed highly favorably in those states and GOP anger/engagement there could rise."

The bottom line: The longer Kavanaugh's confirmation is dragged out, the more certain we can be that it will affect some of the most competitive Senate races.

Go deeper

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health