Right Opinion

Kavanaugh and Polling

Bill Wagner · Oct. 6, 2018

I tend to ignore polls for the most part. They are marginally useful in tracking trends, but the way the questions are designed to elicit predetermined answers along with sample compositions that skew Democrat limit credibility on specific issues. However, when the responses wind up in the 60% to 70% range, it gets your attention.

The polls on Brett Kavanaugh are mixed. In an unfortunate testament on the sad state of our political discourse, most polls are within the margin of error on whether or not he should be confirmed, yet are also wildly partisan. Something like 80% or more of Democrats are against his being confirmed, while an equal number of GOP constituents are in favor of it. Since the polls don’t dig beyond a simple up-or-down vote, it isn’t possible to understand any nuances or conditions that might be in play, but they do show the extreme tribalism that has come to overwhelm the process.

But then Harvard, of all places, came out with a new poll with some stunning and highly revealing information. With the media bias showing up in neon lights, it is not surprising this survey got little attention in the mainstream. The Harvard survey found that while current polling shows a slightly negative view of the Kavanaugh confirmation, 66% favored the latest FBI background check, and an astounding 60% said Kavanaugh should be confirmed if the FBI cannot find corroboration of the accusations against him.

Further, 75% (no typo) believed that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) acted inappropriately in withholding information about the Christine Blasery Ford accusation until the last minute, and 69% (again, no typo) called the way the hearings were conducted a “national disgrace.” Now, to be fair, the political persuasion of those in that 69% group was not revealed, but it seems unlikely that the respondents were upset about Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) trying to operate in regular order.

The decision is down to a handful of senators, so this poll is not directly impactful. However, it tells you something about voters, and it should get the attention of any senator on the bubble. Reasonable folks have had it with the inexcusable Feinstein sleight of hand, the shameful demonstrations, the Democrat grandstanding, the guilty-until-proven-innocent declarations, the constant goalpost moving, and the obvious media bias. The rabid Democrat 10% gave a “You go, girl!” to the Hollywood actress who was seated behind Kavanaugh in the latest hearings in perfect camera line, who said afterward it was perfectly fine for some innocent men to get clobbered because the pendulum needs to swing back from decades of general abuse against women — and all the better if a conservative nominee to the Supreme Court is Exhibit A.

But, as I have predicted for weeks now, the backlash from Americans with basic fairness values was building, and it would overwhelm the extremists, assuming nothing more came out of the FBI. The conduct of Democrats and the media has been that bad, and the commonsense voter values a fairness that has been noticeably absent.

The trends of other polls have also been moving in the GOP direction, in competitive races as well as the generic ballot. And while all politics is local, toss in the latest Trump approvals at around 50%, and it creates a momentum that is critical in midterms, where issues take a back seat, image matters, turnout is key, and about a third of potential House voters can’t name those running in their districts. A blue wave may not have been guaranteed a couple months ago, but whatever tides existed seemed to favor Democrats. Then all things Kavanaugh happened. Democrats couldn’t help themselves, overplayed their hand, and the backlash ensued. Those Democrats in play on his vote should take notice.

The media has done its part. The anti-Kavanaugh bias has been on full display, with coverage even more negative than what is usually reserved for Trump. Kavanaugh is basically a mild-mannered Boy Scout family man and a super legal nerd, with a hardly radical, center-right, constitutional view of the law. He has an impeccable adult conduct record, multiple FBI background checks that have cleared him at every level, and the grand total of zero corroboration of criminal misconduct accusations from his high-school and college days. And the character assassination is not sitting well with fair-minded people.

The conduct of Democrats has been so bad it almost makes you scratch your head that individuals can act so absurdly. Democrats would like everyone to believe it’s all about Roe v. Wade, designed to scare women voters and by extension weaken Trump. But as I have said all along, it is much broader than that. It goes to the heart of whether Democrats and their supporters regain power and whether the Supreme Court composition will prevent their enacting liberal policies they would be unable to get through the ballot box.

To test that theory, I took a look at the list of largest Democrat individual and organizational donors. Those most closely associated with abortion rights, although substantial donors, are not even in the top 10. Those spots are reserved for the really big money backing unfettered socialism, open borders, radical climate change measures, union power, and control of the education process. That’s where the true believers reside. Democrat politicians are merely their mouthpieces, enablers, and check recipients, and nothing will change, including the “do whatever it takes regardless of who gets hurt” attitude, until the voters reject it.

Image matters, which is one reason why the Kavanaugh spectacle is so important. In the 2016 election, there were a lot of people like me who loved what Trump was promising but had real doubts about the person. Yet those concerns were a rounding error compared to the alternative. We did not want a government characterized by institutional corruption. The Hillary Clinton server issue was bad enough, but the idea that government service was an insider gateway to personal riches got equal billing.

Did we really want that kind of country ruled by those kind of people? The same is emerging from the Kavanaugh hearings. The true Democrats are there for all to see, and Americans don’t like it. Do we really want a corrupt Feinstein-type process overlaying every government action? Do we really want violence-stoking Democrats running congressional committees? Do we really want the Rule of Law turned on its head for political purposes? Do we really want “guilty until proven innocent” to be the new norm?

The media tried to cook the books by branding Trump’s factual recitation of the GOP lawyer’s report on Ford’s testimony as mocking and disrespecting her. Granted, I could have done without the quasi-sarcastic tone in Trump’s speech, but like much of the dispute with Trump, that was an issue of style over substance. Ditto regarding the odd choice by The New York Times to print a huge article about how the Trump family committed tax fraud decades ago in transferring ownership of the real-estate business from father to sons. Maybe the Times didn’t get the memo that these accusations have been in the New York tabloids for decades and that multiple IRS audits have found nothing improper. It’s not exactly a news flash that wealthy families push the envelope in taking advantage of every possible tax-saving move, but somehow the Times chose now to run the story.

Since there is no legal exposure, could it be that the purpose of the article was to detract from the likelihood the FBI was going to strike out on new Kavanaugh allegations? Or maybe the Times was trying to undermine Trump’s image as a “self-made” billionaire. I love the Times’ use of the phrase “in today’s dollars” when describing the value of the real estate Trump’s father left to him to make it seem much greater than it was. Remember, this was decades ago, and the actual value of anything inherited that long ago would be a small fraction of what it would be today. Someone must have given the Times a heads up that the FBI probe was going nowhere.

Nothing is certain, and I still can’t quite figure out exactly how politicians think. So how those on the bubble will ultimately vote on Saturday remains uncertain. The winds seem to support confirmation and a continuing trend toward the GOP in November, but who knows. Voters supported one final FBI review because they wanted to be fair to the accuser, but now that the results show zero corroboration, the polls are shifting against Democrats.

Astonishingly, they just don’t get it yet. They are so beholden to their check books that they are out making further fools of themselves by claiming the FBI was too limited or that high-school drinking or college ice cube tossing are grounds for impeachment. They have nothing else. The only thing more silly is the lawsuit that was just allowed to proceed accusing Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause. If impeachment is all that is left of the Democrat platform, the blue wave is toast, and Democrats have only themselves to thank for it.

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