Brett Kavanaugh’s Accuser is Willing to Testify

Brett Kavanaugh’s Accuser is Willing to Testify
President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is currently facing accusations of sexual assault from Christine Blasey Ford. Ford claims that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in the 1980s when they were both in high school. According to Ford, Kavanaugh was drunk and accompanied by an equally intoxicated Mark Judge, who watched the event and later jumped on top of both parties, inadvertently allowing Ford to escape. In a statement released by the White House, Kavanaugh denied Ford’s accusations. Mark Judge also denied the alleged incident in an interview with The New York Times on Friday. Debra Katz, Ford’s lawyer, said on Monday that her client was willing to testify before Congress. In the wake of the accusations, politicians are calling for a delay on Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote until his accuser is heard. Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says that he is “not comfortable voting yes,” until he hears more about Ford’s account. According to PRRI polling, Americans say that real experiences of sexual harassment or assault that are not reported or believed are a bigger problem in the U.S. than false accusations made about sexual harassment or assault (65 percent vs. 26 percent). Nearly eight in ten (78 percent) Democrats, compared to about two-thirds of political independents (65 percent) and only about half (52 percent) of Republicans, say unreported or unbelieved experiences of sexual harassment or assault are a bigger problem in the U.S. than false accusations.
Hurricane Florence Sparks Climate Talk
In a recent piece for NBC News, Kristina Dahl examines the link between increased tropical storm intensity and climate change. Dahl writes, “With each new storm, we are forced to question whether this is our new, climate change-fueled reality, and to ask ourselves what we can do to minimize the toll from supercharged storms.” Dahl’s article was released prior to Hurricane Florence making landfall in the United States. Several other storms of great magnitude gained strength throughout the tropics at the same time. According to PRRI data, Americans are deeply divided with regard to whether increased storm intensity is related to climate change by political affiliation. In January of 2018, following a devastating year of storm activity that set records, PRRI Research Assistant Alex Vandermaas-Peeler examined this deep partisan gap. Vandermaas-Peeler used PRRI data to show how Democrats and Republicans view climate change. She wrote, “More than eight in ten (84 percent) Democrats agree that the severity of recent natural disasters points to global climate change, as do nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of independents. In contrast, fewer than three in ten (27 percent) Republicans say the same. More than seven in ten (71 percent) Republicans believe that the severity of natural disasters is not evidence of climate change.” Vandermaas-Peeler noted that as Democrats become more likely to agree that “recent strong storms were evidence of climate change” Republicans were less likely.
Politico: Can Dems go “Old School” in 2018?
An exhaustive new profile in Politico examines how Democrats are reverting to the roots of their political platforms to sway blue-collar workers who abandoned them in 2016. Michael Grunwald writes, “In 2018, Trump country looks more like Brown country—and many lesser-known Ohio Democrats think they can follow his populist path to victory, in part by persuading older blue-collar voters that only one-party cares about their economic security.” Appealing to economic anxieties of liberals flips the script on a popular Trump narrative that Republicans experience more economic hardship. A recent study by the Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group, co-authored by PRRI Associate Research Director Robert Griffin PhD and John Sides PhD, a professor of political science at George Washington University, shows how this popular narrative about the economic anxieties of the white working class may be incorrect.
Democrats Focus on Mobilizing Black Voters in Ohio
With fewer than 50 days before the November midterms, local Democrats are targeting black voters in Ohio, after losing the Buckeye state to Donald Trump in the 2016 general election. According to CNN Politics, former President Barack Obama secured 97 percent of the state’s black vote in 2016 and 96 percent in 2012, compared to the 88 percent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received in 2016. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) victory last December, due to high black turnout, appears to have been one catalyst for this strategy. “We learned from the Doug Jones special election that local community members are the best validators,” says Ron McGuire, a Democratic Party official who held roundtables across the state in January to hear from black voters. Per PRRI polling, black Americans are nearly three times as likely as whites (27 percent vs. 10 percent) to say that all their friends plan on voting in the 2018 midterm election.