Anna Sheffer
October 18, 2018 12:06 pm
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Although Brett Kavanaugh has officially been confirmed to the Supreme Court, the sexual assault allegations leveled against him still loom large in the public consciousness. And with the 2018 midterm elections on the way, many wonder (and hope) that the now conservative-skewing Supreme Court will inspire more liberals to get out and vote—which could ultimately give the Democrats a majority in Congress. However, some—like President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump—think Kavanaugh’s hearing will motivate women to vote Republican.

Speaking to Fox News on October 17th, Trump, who is married to Donald Trump’s son, Eric, said that she believes more women are “inspired” to vote for the GOP after the Kavanaugh hearing. Trump claimed that she’s spoken with many women who feel “frustrated” with the way Kavanaugh was treated during the confirmation process.

Trump is correct in some ways: There are women who supported Kavanaugh throughout the confirmation process—and they’re mostly white women. In an October 1st Quinnipiac University poll, 54% of white women said they disapproved of the way Senate Democrats handled the sexual assault allegations, with 50% believing Kavanaugh was the target of a smear campaign. At the same time, 45% of white women said they supported Kavanaugh’s confirmation (and white women are more likely to vote Republican in general, fyi).

But women as a whole were against Kavanaugh’s appointment. When women of color were factored into the numbers, the Quinnipiac poll found that 55% of all women were against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and only 43% thought he was the subject of a smear campaign. Women (and especially women of color) are also more likely to vote Democrat. An October 11th CNN poll found that 63% of women backed Democrats over Republicans.

So Trump might be correct in that conservative-leaning (white) women could be “inspired” to vote for Republicans in the midterms, but overall, it seems like the “Kavanaugh effect” will lead more women to vote against the GOP. Obviously, we’ll have to wait for November 6th to know for sure.

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