Kavanaugh Battle Intensifies Historic Gender Gap Before Election

By Sahil Kapur and John McCormick
Bloomberg News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Liam Donovan, a former operative for the Senate Republican campaign arm who’s now a lobbyist says, “The problem for the GOP is twofold: one, the advantage cuts disproportionately in favor of Dems, and two, the drop-off is particularly acute among educated women in the metro suburbs where their members are most vulnerable.”

WASHINGTON

The battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is driving a wedge deeper into an already wide political chasm between men and women, leading to what could be an unprecedented gender gap in the 2018 midterm election vote.

With little more than a month before balloting to decide control of Congress, last week’s emotional Senate hearing and now an FBI probe of sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump’s nominee add to a combustible mix of social and political trends defining this year’s election.

Those include the intense partisan split over the president, a potent movement to expose sexual harassment and assault and a record number of women running for office.

Even before California college professor Christine Blasey Ford testified under oath that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were both in high school, an allegation the nominee has vehemently denied, polls showed women heavily favored Democratic congressional candidates in the Nov. 6 election.

Now, Republican pollster Frank Luntz said, “It’s going to be the largest gender gap in modern American history.”

The GOP’s troubles with women are likely to hurt the party most in the battle for the House, where Democrats need to flip at least 23 Republican-held seats to gain a majority.

Many of the most competitive races are in suburban districts which have large numbers of college-educated women, a group with relatively high turnout.

Of the more than 250 women on congressional ballots in November, more than three-quarters of them are running as Democrats.

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