President Donald Trump makes his second visit to Minnesota, with a rally on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, in Rochester, Minn. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

Kavanaugh bump? GOP fights for new energy as vote nears

October 04, 2018 - 9:15 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's Republican Party is threatening to erode Democrats' enthusiasm advantage as the fiery debate over his Supreme Court nominee enters its final phase.

Political strategists suggest the GOP's enthusiastic embrace of Brett Kavanaugh despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct may have shifted the political landscape — at least temporarily — by injecting new energy into the most passionate Republican voters a month before the election.

Trump's aggressive defense of Kavanaugh has resonated particularly with white working-class men, who are a shrinking voting bloc nationally but remain a critical segment of Trump's political base.

Democrats have claimed an undisputed enthusiasm advantage early in the Trump era. But even a small erosion in the so-called enthusiasm gap could make a big difference on Election Day.