Data released over the weekend suggests that many issues are more important to voters than the Kavanaugh confirmation process. However, that process reinforced and highlighted other public divides by emphasizing the team sport nature of politics in Washington.
The latest evidence of this comes from data showing that 44% of voters nationwide believe the United States is on the Right Track. There is a significant gender gap on the question: 50% of men believe the country is on the right track. Just 38% of women agree. This gap is similar to the gender gap found on issues surrounding the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh.
Also similar to the Kavanaugh data, the partisan gap is much wider. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans think the country is on the right track. Just 21% of Democrats share that view along with 41% of Independent voters.
These divides were not created by the Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation. Instead, the response to Kavanaugh was defined by these pre-existing divides. People throughout the nation saw what they expected to see.
As a result, the partisan lines have been clarified and hardened with just a month to go until the midterm elections. That is likely to help Republicans in Senate contests because so many Democratic incumbents are running in Republican leaning states.
The impact on the House is a bit less clear. Virtually all of the competitive House races are for seats currently held by the GOP. Many are in affluent, suburban areas where many GOP voters are uncomfortable with President Trump. It is likely that Democrats will pick up many (perhaps most) of these seats. However, the Kavanaugh battle united both the Trump and the establishment wings of the Republican Party. If that unity remains intact, it could limit the Democratic gains in the House.