Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the party base had rallied in defense of Kavanaugh with a noticeable uptick in enthusiasm just weeks away from the midterm elections.
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate cut a deal to vote on 15 judicial nominations Thursday so they could return to their home states for the final stretch of the campaign. There are 25 Republican-held districts that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election, and 12 Democratic-held districts that then-candidate Donald Trump carried.
Pedersen agrees with Fitzgibbon that the attention on the congressional races will have an impact on turnout, and could be a factor in races like the 47th, which overlaps with the 8th Congressional District race between Republican Dino Rossi and Democrat Kim Schrier and where incumbent Republican state Sen.
Henderson said in a press release earlier this month that the misconduct claims were filed after Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, which began on September 4.
A new survey reveals that Democrats may actually be more motivated to vote because of Kavanaugh than Republicans.
Nearly immediately after the Senate vote, Democrats felt the chill from faraway North Dakota.
Trump has a busy campaign schedule to spread the word that the allegations against Kavanaugh were a "hoax that was set up by the Democrats" at what he's called a unsafe time for men who can be falsely accused. That means Democrats will need to swipe at least three GOP seats to take back the Senate - an outcome that now appears somewhere between unlikely and impossible.
One Republican observer said he thought as many as 20 or 21 of the 25 Republican districts that went for Hillary Clinton previous year could well flip to the Democrats, producing a large Democratic House wave. This would be an "extraordinary violation of constitutional and political norms" and is unlikely, but the pressure may "make some of the conservative justices more cautious" on future rulings.
"Honest to God, I would answer that question, but I'm going to let you guys do that assessment", he said. "But I think this year there are a lot of things that are happening that are motivating both sides".
"Elections matter and I would like my colleagues to be able to go home", she said.