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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight has led to a huge increase in donations to Democrats and groups that support them — and Republicans say the battle has been good for their fundraising, too.

Why it matters: It's tangible evidence that the bitter Supreme Court showdown is turning into massive energy for the midterm elections. Republicans have said a "Brett bounce" is increasing enthusiasm among their base, but the fundraising numbers suggest that Democrats are also fired up and throwing all the money they can at the elections.

By the numbers:

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm that works on House races, says it raised $400,000 from emails and texts in the 30 hours after Christine Blasey Ford's testimony.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California raised over $400,000 for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (who voted against Kavanaugh) in just 24 hours from a single email, per NBC News. Heitkamp is one of the most endangered Democratic incumbents in the November elections.
  • The DCCC says it also raised $4.38 million from the end of September to Oct. 5 — the day it was clear Kavanaugh would be confirmed.
  • Republicans have reported huge fundraising increases too, though they're not releasing specific dollar amounts. Instead, an aide at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the group in charge of House races, says it saw a 418% increase in online donations in the first week of October compared to the first week of September.
  • And Ronna McDaniel, who heads the Republican National Committee, tweeted that the group had raised 500% more in the first week of October than it did during the first week of September.
  • During the week of Kavanaugh's confirmation, the National Democratic Training Committee, which trains and invests in Democratic candidates throughout the country, raised $240,000 — the group's best seven-day fundraising period since it launched in the summer of 2016. The day before the Kavanaugh vote, it received a record $40,000.
  • ActBlue — the online fundraising platform that has raised over $1 billion for Democrats this cycle — raised nearly $10 million on Oct. 5 and another $9 million on Oct. 6. The group says that was its third and sixth biggest fundraising days, respectively.
  • The Senate campaign arms, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee, haven't released numbers.

Between the lines: Both parties say their supporters are more enthusiastic about the elections now — Democrats because they believe the Senate didn't listen to Ford, Republicans because they believe Kavanaugh was the victim of a partisan hit job. But it's harder to evaluate their evidence for a Republican money surge, since they're refusing to release specific dollar amounts the way the Democrats have.

  • One Republican strategist who's working on midterm congressional campaigns said: "Sure, Kavanaugh is animating white, college-educated women, but guess what? They were not voting for a Republican a month ago and they’re still not."

The bottom line: Money isn't everything, but it's a good sign that Kavanaugh is going to drive a lot of angry voters to the polls on Nov. 6.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - World

Blinken makes unannounced trip to Afghanistan to sell troop withdrawal

Photo: CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Thursday to meet with the nation's president, Ashraf Ghani, and Abdullah Abdullah, who is representing the Taliban in negotiations, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Blinken sought to reassure the pair that the U.S. will maintain support for the country, despite President Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan starting May 1 and concluding in full by Sept. 11.

Women rise to the top at major media companies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several women have been tapped to lead some of the country's largest newsrooms over the past year — a promising sign of progress for an industry that's typically been slow to accept change and embrace diversity.

Driving the news: CBS News executive Kimberly Godwin was named president of ABC News on Wednesday. Godwin will be the first Black woman to lead a major broadcast news division when she takes the helm in May.

Americans will likely have to navigate a maze of vaccine "passports"

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Many private businesses and some states are plowing ahead with methods of verifying that people have been vaccinated, despite conservative resistance to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Many businesses view some sort of vaccine verification system as key to getting back to normal. But in the absence of federal leadership, a confusing patchwork approach is likely to pop up.