Ginsburg’s death promises to be a catalyst for Democrats, too, who are poised to mobilize to elect Biden as president and replace the late justice with a liberal who would protect a generation of social measures — from same-sex marriage to the Affordable Care Act to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers.”

“The polarization in the country was already a 12 on a 1-to-10 scale. It was already off the charts. This is going to push it up to 15,” said Neil Newhouse, a longtime Republican pollster. “This energizes both liberals and conservatives, it ratchets up the intensity, and it puts a focus on what’s at stake in this election.”

David Axelrod, who served as top political strategist to Obama, concurred.

“This is another log in an already roaring fire,” Axelrod said. “This is going to further intensify feelings on both sides. For Trump, there has been some softening among evangelicals in some of the polling. He may see this as a way to fire them up again.”