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Poll: Kavanaugh isn't a key issue for undecided voters in red states

Brett Kavanaugh sits behind his desk during the Senate confirmation hearings
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A group that opposes Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court is promoting a new survey that suggests his nomination won't be a key factor in the November elections for the majority of undecided voters in red states.

Why it matters: The poll by Demand Justice and YouGov counters the argument by Republicans that red-state Democrats will face a backlash from voters if they oppose his nomination.

It also suggests that Democratic senators will face more serious problems with their base voters if they do back Kavanaugh.

By the numbers:

Among likely Democratic voters in...

  • Missouri: 35% said they would be less likely to vote for Sen. Claire McCaskill if she votes for Kavanaugh.
  • Indiana: 35% said they would be less likely to vote for Sen. Joe Donnelly if he votes for Kavanaugh.
  • Florida: 31% said they would be less likely to vote for Sen. Bill Nelson if he votes for Kavanaugh.
  • West Virginia: 30% said they would be likely less to vote for Sen. Joe Manchin if he votes for Kavanaugh.
  • North Dakota: 26% said they would be likely less to vote for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp if she votes for Kavanaugh.

Among undecided voters...

  • The number of voters declaring themselves undecided in these states, or leaning toward a third-party candidate ranges between nine and 15 percent of all voters.
  • When asked specifically how the looming Kavanaugh vote would impact their preference in the Senate contest, the overwhelming majority of undecided voters in all five states said it will have no impact.
    • Florida: 80%
    • Missouri: 76%
    • Indiana: 68%
    • West Virginia: 80%
    • North Dakota: 80%

Key quote: "It is true that support for Kavanaugh’s nomination runs slightly higher in these states than it does nationally, but not by much," writes Brian Fallon, former press secretary for Hillary Clinton's campaign and head of Demand Justice. "More notably, close to a third of voters in these states aren’t sure or don’t know enough about whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed. The idea that there is some kind of groundswell of support for Kavanaugh in these states is simply not true."

Methodology: YouGov Blue partnered with Demand Justice to field a survey of 2,717 likely voters in five states: Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and West Virginia. The survey was fielded online from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, 2018. The data was weighted to a likely voter turnout universe.

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