Kavanaugh is now a supreme court justice and the Republicans are laughing all the way to the bank. His appointment has been brutal for the Democrats but it seems that Republicans are more fired up than ever. There has never been a more controversial appointment – well, apart from President Trump himself – and his ‘win’, as unfair or brutal as it has been, seems to have West Virginia rooting for the Republicans.
It was thought that the Democrats had a chance at retaking the West Virginia Legislature and that Dem Laura Finch would win a seat in the state senate. The recent issues of the West Virginia teachers strike really played to the Democratic party, to the people’s issues of low pay, inequality, and poverty within struggling schools.
The Democrats pretty much had it in the bag and they thought that by November they would be able to win just enough to again control the Virginia State legislature. And then the fiasco with Brett Kavanaugh came, and his bitter nomination as supreme justice. And Republicans have used the fiasco, even though their candidate was accused of sexual abuse, to their advantage.
One can ask how a Republican such as Kavanaugh is voted into Supreme Court Justice, and how Republicans can support him. What is clear is the Republicans have cried fowl and played the victim, sadly to the Democrats disadvantage.
Democrats wanted to keep West Virginia voters talking about their local issues, which are pretty dire. Instead, they’re talking about Kavanaugh and the Republicans have steered or distracted them away from their own issues. Now, they see it that Kavanaugh was picked on.
The Republican campaign managers and Phalen Kuckuck who is the director of the West Virginia Republican Legislative Committee agreed that the awful fight over Kavanaugh has helped the Republicans. It explained how it refocused their campaign and how they could use it to their advantage. Basically, they said look at how the Democrats are holding up justice and look at these crazy mobs and how can you vote for them.
Kuckuck was an Obama supporter in 2012, switching sides from Democrats to Republicans as he felt them more economically and fiscally responsible. He supports Trump and says West Virginians felt the Democrats were attacking Trump and justice.
Oddly, the people who may have changed to Democrats in West Virginia now look unlikely to do it. Not only that, often people do not turn up in the midterm elections.
As a Democrat, Manchin has had a huge fight to hold on to his seat in the US Senate. His lead over the Republican attorney general Patrick Morrissey, was good, at least 8 points. He focused his attacks on Morrissey who threatened legal action against Obamacare. Many West Virginians are poor and rely on government health benefits. And then Manchin hesitated over Kavanaugh not wanting to alienate swing voters.
And the rest is history. The Republicans are again looking strong. And so is President Trump.