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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:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.