Kavanaugh confirmation will energise Democrat voters, says poll

US Wrap: Survey counters Trump’s claim that more Republicans will turn out for mid-terms

US president Donald Trump listens during a briefing on the federal response to Hurricane Michael at the Oval Office on Wednesday. Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, with 155mph winds, making it  the strongest storm to hit the continental US since 2004. Photograph: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

US president Donald Trump listens during a briefing on the federal response to Hurricane Michael at the Oval Office on Wednesday. Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, with 155mph winds, making it the strongest storm to hit the continental US since 2004. Photograph: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

 

Democrats may be more energised than Republicans to vote in next month’s mid-term elections in the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation to the Supreme Court, according to two polls.

A Politico/Morning Consult Poll found that 77 per cent of Democrats surveyed said they were “very motivated” to turn out and vote in the mid-terms, compared to 68 per cent of Republicans, in the wake of the Kavanaugh controversy. US president Donald Trump’s approval ratings also saw a slight drop, sliding to 41 per cent from 43 per cent the previous week.

Separately, a CNN poll indicated a surge in enthusiasm among Democratic voters ahead of the mid-term elections, which are now less than four weeks away.

Nationally, 54 per cent of voters said that they support the Democrat running in their district, while 41 per cent support their Republican candidate. This is the widest margin of support for Democrats in a mid-term cycle since 2006.

The findings of the polls appear to undermine a key argument of Republicans in recent days, with senior figures in the party arguing that Mr Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has energised their supporters.

In an opinion piece for USA Today published on Wednesday, Mr Trump warned that Democratic wins in November’s election would lead to a “radical shift” in American culture.

‘Radical agenda’

“Today’s Democratic party is for open-borders socialism. This radical agenda would destroy American prosperity,” he wrote.

“The truth is that the centrist Democratic party is dead. The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela. ”

He continued: “If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run healthcare is just the beginning. Democrats are also pushing massive government control of education, private-sector businesses and other major sectors of the US economy.”

The tone of the article echoed the president’s rhetoric at a campaign rally in Iowa on Tuesday night, where he accused many of the protestors who demonstrated against Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination in Washington of being “paid protestors”. Questioning the level of enthusiasm on the Democratic side ahead of the mid-term elections, he told the crowd: “I can tell you, the energy on the Republican side, I don’t think it’s ever been greater – maybe 2016, where, as you remember, the energy was very good.”

Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka took to Twitter to refute suggestions that she could replace Ms Haley

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and a third of Senate seats are up for election on November 6th. While Democrats are quietly confident of wresting control of the House from Republicans, their path to control of the Senate seems less assured.

Ambassador

Meanwhile, as Mr Trump prepared to depart the White House on Wednesday for another rally in Pennsylvania, he confirmed that he had spoken to former deputy national security advisor Dina Powell about replacing Nikki Haley as US ambassador to the United Nations.

Ms Haley announced on Tuesday she would be stepping down at the end of the year, in a surprise move.

Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka took to Twitter to refute suggestions that she could replace Ms Haley.

“It is an honour to serve in the White House alongside so many great colleagues and I know that the President will nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador Haley. That replacement will not be me,” she said.

Ms Haley prompted speculation that Ms Trump could be under consideration for the post after she praised both Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner for their work behind the scenes as she announced her resignation from the post.

Asked if he was considering his daughter for the post, Mr Trump said that he felt that Ivanka would do an “incredible” job, but that he would be accused of nepotism if he appointed her.