How The Kavanaugh Confirmation Plays in Florida

How the Kavanaugh confirmation plays in Florida 

Excerpt: Ron DeSantis told supporters Saturday in West Palm Beach that Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court will boost his bid for governor by energizing Republicans to vote in the midterm elections. 

He praised GOP senators for standing up to a “vicious smear campaign” led by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Richard Blumenthal

“These people really debase the Senate,” DeSantis said during his 30-minute speech moments after Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “What they did was a disgrace. … Media go fly a kite. Democrats go fly a kite. Guess what? Voters now know they need to come out in the midterms to prevent people like Feinstein from getting into power.” 

Bottom Line: In a Governor’s race that continues to be highlighted by non-Governor related issues (SCOTUS, to impeach or not to impeach President Trump, etc.) there is the question about how the Kavanaugh confirmation will play across the country and right here in Florida. While I was tracking public perception of the Kavanaugh confirmation there were two points that jumped out at me.  

First, public perception nationally moved four points in favor of Kavanaugh after the Christine Ford accusations. That means that in general, to the extent that this process impacts politically, it should benefit Republicans. Second, the 30 states that supported and continue to support President Trump are likely to see a bigger benefit.  

In a related story last week, I pointed out that for the first time in American history the Supreme Court was the top midterm issue. So, it certainly has the potential to matter across the ballot including in a Florida Governor’s race for example. In states like West Virginia and North Dakota, where President Trump is extremely popular, the impact in those key Senate races appears to be around 10%. 

In Florida, that’s less clear. One of our Senators, Marco Rubio, voted for confirmation but he’s not up for re-election for four more years. Bill Nelson who voted no, will have his fate decided in four weeks. Morning Consult keeps up with approval ratings by state. In Florida Trump’s approval rating is currently a net +2%. Meaning that in general there’s a slight advantage for issues advanced by the President and theoretically those who support them. In other words, it appears as though Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott should have a bit of a tailwind from all of this statewide.

Photo by: Fred Schilling/Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

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