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Manchin, Heitkamp Have A Lot To Lose By Opposing Kavanaugh, Poll Shows


by Vandana Rambaran

The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) is launching a $400,000 ad campaign Tuesday aimed at flipping the last two remaining undecided Democrats to vote in favor of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia are both running for re-election in tight races come November. The conservative political campaigning group is urging them both to vote in line with their constituents’ wants, as poll numbers show the majority of voters in both states want to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Overall, the majority of North Dakotans want Kavanaugh confirmed by 56 percent and West Virginians by a majority of 58 percent, according to a Public Opinion Strategies poll released by JCN on Tuesday.

A breakdown of the poll, which collected data between Sept. 27 and 29 in West Virginia and North Dakota after accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, shows women in both states want a vote to confirm Kavanaugh by 52 percent and 50 percent respectively. The margin of error of the data is 3.56 percent.

Although Republicans supported Kavanaugh and believed his testimony over Blasey Ford significantly in both states compared to Democrats, even independent voters sided with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick over Blasey Ford, who claims Kavanaugh pinned her down and attempted to remove her clothing at a high school party nearly 35 years ago. Sixty-two percent of independents in West Virginia and 50 percent in North Dakota believe Kavanaugh over Blasey Ford, according to the polling data. Fifty-nine and 51 percent of independent voters in the respective states would vote to confirm the nominee as well.

“Clear majorities in North Dakota and West Virginia — including women and Independents — support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation,” Judicial Crisis Network’s Chief Counsel and Policy Director Carrie Severino said in a statement Tuesday. “Senators Heitkamp and Manchin need to decide whether they stand with Judge Kavanaugh and President Trump, or with the outrageous smear campaign unleashed by Chuck Schumer and the liberal mob.”

Heitkamp is polling 6 points behind her Republican opponent Kevin Cramer, according to a Real Clear Politics poll taken between June 13 and Sept. 27, making her one of the most vulnerable Democrats this midterm season. RCP data between Aug. 16 and Sept. 26 shows Manchin 9.4 points ahead of his opponent Republican Rep. Patrick Morrisey.

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