Midterms 2018

Scarborough Frets Kavanaugh Debacle Was Dems’ Midterm ‘Disaster’

'Morning Joe' panel laments GOP voters' enthusiasm following the newest SCOTUS justice's treatment

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough (pictured above left) seemed disheartened Thursday over new polls showing Republican voters’ enthusiasm spiking  in response to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s turbulent confirmation process.

“So as you look at all these, Joe, from start to finish here, what do you see?” co-host Willie Geist (above right) asked Scarborough.

“Well, I see right now the Republicans getting a huge bump out of the Kavanaugh hearings. I think a lot of Americans, especially a lot of Republicans, didn’t like what they saw during those hearings coming from the Democratic side of the aisle,” Scarborough replied.

After President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July, the Left immediately targeted him, smeared him, and sought to dig up any disqualifying information possible.

But it wasn’t until September 16 that Christine Blasey Ford went public alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago during a high school gathering in suburban Maryland.

Ford’s allegation completely dampened what had before looked like a fairly routine confirmation process. Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, came forward after Ford, alleging other sexual misconduct.

Related: ‘Desperate’ Democrats Pushing Away Voters,’ Newt Says

Kavanaugh strenuously denied all of the allegations, and none of the witnesses the three women said would verify their claims did so. He was confirmed 50-48 Saturday and sworn in later that day, following an FBI review of the allegations. Trump held a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony Monday night at the White House.

Scarborough warned that the Democrats’ treatment of Kavanaugh and his confirmation process appears set to haunt them in November.

“Right now, Republicans are looking pretty strong. Right now at this point in 2016, [Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary Clinton was looking pretty strong. A lot can change in three weeks, can’t it?” Scarborough told MSNBC contributor Rick Tyler.

Tyler replied, “Republicans are more reliable voters in the off-season, but they weren’t motivated. But I agree with — I agree with you, that the Kavanaugh hearings had a dramatically positive effect for Republicans. And the reason is, one, it energized the Trump base. But it also energized a lot of Republicans that weren’t necessarily Trump supporters who might be looking for an alternative governing party.”

Related: Survey Says Republicans Are Madder and More Likely to Vote Than Dems

“And what they saw on the Senate Judiciary Committee with the abandonment of the presumption of innocence, on the Judiciary Committee, which I think is in some ways disqualifying, the Republicans said, no — those Republicans said, ‘No, this is not the alternative we’re seeking,'” Tyler added.

Scarborough admitted, “it certainly did seem to be a motivator.”

“Things could tighten up [before the midterm election]. I suspect they will tighten up and we’ll have another churn over the next one, two, three weeks,” Scarborough said. “But, boy, looking back, assessing what went on during the Kavanaugh hearings, there is no doubt … that at least for Senate candidates, that the Kavanaugh hearings were a disaster for the Democratic Party.”

Analyst Donny Deutsch told Scarborough the enthusiasm gap among Democrats “is back up to about 9 points in terms of the enthusiasm of Democrats over Republicans. So that’s a little bit of good news up against those other numbers.”

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].