Democrats vs. the “blue wave”

National Public Radio:

Just over a month away from critical elections across the country, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were “very important.” Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie.

Democrats’ advantage on which party Americans want to control Congress has also been cut in half since last month. Democrats still retain a 6-point edge on that question, but it was 12 points after a Marist poll conducted in mid-September.

The results come amid the pitched and hotly partisan confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Multiple women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college. He categorically denies all the allegations. The FBI is conducting a supplemental investigation into the accusations that is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this week.

With Democrats already up fired up for this election, the Kavanaugh confirmation fight has apparently had the effect of rousing a dormant GOP base.

“The result of hearings, at least in short run, is the Republican base was awakened,” noted Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

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