In Missouri, Kavanaugh fight sparked a GOP revival

In a sign of the campaign’s confidence that the Supreme Court fight moved Missouri voters, Hawley cut an ad last week focused exclusively on the Kavanaugh confirmation. “People in our Senate today, they’ve created a circus. Liberals like Claire McCaskill and Chuck Schumer, they don’t want the truth. They only want power. … I’m Josh Hawley and I will fight for the Supreme Court. It’s the last line of defense for our values. It’s worth the battle,” Hawley says in the ad.

Among red-state Democrats, McCaskill has taken a unique position on the Supreme Court fight. She came out against Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Sept. 19, three days after The Washington Post reported on Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. Saying she was “setting aside” the allegation, McCaskill instead focused her opposition to Kavanaugh on the judge’s rulings on campaign finance and the scope of presidential power. In an interview with National Journal, she said Ford’s testimony had no impact on her decision.

“It did not weigh on my thinking. Once I made up my mind, while I understood the emotion on both sides in the hearings, it wasn’t in any way an influence on the decision I made,” McCaskill said. Despite her opposition to Kavanaugh, McCaskill spent time lamenting the polarized state of our politics when reflecting on the hearings: “I hope Missourians see this incident as a warning that we cannot allow our country to get so tribal that we see a set of facts 180 degrees differently and can’t see the other person’s point of view.”