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Donnelly, Nelson to Oppose Kavanaugh's Nomination

Tester said Christine Blasey Ford's testimony was credible.

Sept. 28, 2018, 10:45 a.m.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) announced Friday he will oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. (Twitter)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) announced Friday that he will “vote no on Judge Kavanaugh.” (Twitter)

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) called Dr. Christine Blasey Ford “credible & courageous” and said he will vote no on Kavanaugh. (Twitter) Jones is Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent in 2020.

Donnelly previously said that Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony Thursday “provided the Senate with more information that we can use to make a decision on this nomination” and that the “allegations described by Dr. Ford today against Judge Kavanaugh are serious, merit further review, and I believe should be investigated by the FBI.” (Indianapolis Star) Donnelly, on Ford’s testimony: "I think she’s been very credible, very compelling, and very courageous.” (HuffPost)

“Senators and aides expect that” Sens. Donnelly, Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME) “will all vote the same way, though which way that is remains unclear.” (Politico)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said he found Ford’s testimony credible but demurred on which way he would vote. (Hotline reporting)

THE ALREADY-NOS. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) called Ford “incredibly credible.” McCaskill: “It’s understandable that she remembers what she remembers and it’s understandable the things that she doesn’t remember.” But she emphasized that the allegations were “not at all” a factor in her decision to vote against his confirmation, instead citing his previous rulings on campaign finance. (Hotline reporting)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pushed back against the claim that Ford’s letter about Kavanaugh was leaked from her office. Feinstein: “I did not leak her story. She asked me to hold it confidential and I kept it confidential as she asked." (CBS News)

WHAT’S AT STAKE. Priorities USA Action President Guy Cecil, which is playing in multiple red-state Senate races, said he “will never personally or professionally support any Democrat who votes to confirm Kavanaugh.” (Twitter)

The “course of this campaign may be affected very little by everything that is going on in terms of … Kavanaugh. Yes, ruby-red state Democratic senators up for reelection need to be careful, but that was already the case.” (National Journal)

REPUBLICANS HOLDING FIRM. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said Thursday that the allegations against Kavanaugh are “very suspicious,” citing Democrats’ effort to block the confirmation as well the “timing” of the revelations. Cramer: “I think in many respects I think she's being used frankly. … And I think to the degree that whatever happened in high school happened.” (KNOX)

Cramer on the hearings: "I'll get some popcorn." (KHND)

Sen. Dean Heller’s (R-NV) "office did not answer whether he planned to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Heller: “I commend Dr. Ford for bravely sharing her story with my colleagues. ... I also appreciate Judge Kavanaugh's compelling testimony in which he delivered a raw defense of his honor and a vehement denial of the allegations.” (Las Vegas Sun)

Montana Auditor Matt Rosendale (R), Tester’s opponent, accused “Senate Democrats” of engaging “in a smear process plain and simple” “rather than seek the truth.” Rosendale: The Senate should immediately vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court." (Twitter)

Wisconsin state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R): “Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh deserved to be heard. ... The fact is Senator [Tammy] Baldwin (D-WI) and her liberal allies are bitter that Wisconsin elected President Trump, and they’ll do anything to stop this highly qualified nominee. It’s time the Senate votes and confirms Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.” (release)

BIG PICTURE. “While female politicians have historically avoided responding directly to sexism, for fear of backlash over appearing weak or victimized, they are reacting differently this year, experts say. ... After President Donald Trump's victory in 2016, women's marches and the MeToo movement defined 2017. The mobilization and anger translated to the 2018 election, where a surge of female candidates in both parties are running in battleground territories. And sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have led some female candidates to rip at their opponent's responses favoring Kavanaugh and dismissing accusers.” (CNBC)

IN OTHER NEWS. In this election cycle, Republicans see several opportunities to woo Hispanic voters over their Democratic opponents. “In several other key battlegrounds, including Arizona, Nevada and maybe even Texas, Democratic candidates are at risk of underperforming with Hispanic voters, lagging behind the numbers the party notched two years ago. ... [I]n key states around the U.S., Republican candidates are working to overcome the Trump factor by campaigning hard in Hispanic communities. The NALEO Educational Fund poll found that 52% of Latinos who identify as Republicans nationwide have been contacted by a campaign or political group, while just 43% of Democratic Latinos said the same.” (Time)

BAND AID. Bon Iver is playing a GOTV concert for Baldwin in Wisconsin on Oct. 20. (HuffPost)

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