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Democrats fall behind Republicans in race for US midterm elections

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
President Donald Trump points to a supporter during a rally at the International Air Response facility on October 19, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by AFP)

After suffering a humiliating defeat in blocking US President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the Supreme Court, Democrats now find themselves in a disadvantage against Republicans nearly two weeks before the November 6 congressional midterm elections.

While Democrats were confidently speaking of a “blue wave” that would win them majority in both Senate and the House of representatives, their failure to keep Judge Brett Kavanaugh out of the Supreme Court seems to have taken its toll and tipped the scales in favor of their rivals.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation earlier this month, which came despite several sexual assault claims against him, polarized the electorate and cost Democrats dearly.

Republican Senate nominees in Texas and Tennessee, two states where Democrats thought they could pull major upsets, have now opened major gaps to their rivals, The Hill reported Sunday.

US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has increased his lead over his rival, Representative Beto O’Rourke, says the Kavanaugh debate gave him and other GOP candidates a boost.

“I think the Democrats' behavior in the Kavanaugh hearing was appalling and I think a great many Texans were deeply disturbed at the partisan games and the political circus where they were willing to smear Judge Kavanaugh and his family to score political points,” he said.

In Tennessee Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn now has a 6.5-point lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average, a huge leap forward compared to summer, when she was behind by an average of five points.

Republicans are also confident that they would win tight Senate races in Nevada and Arizona, two other states where Democrats had hoped to make gains.

It’s the same story in North Dakota, where Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp has fallen behind by double digits.

In Montana, Senator Jon Tester, who was the favorite only a month ago, is now locked in a tightening race.

On the other hand, Senator Joe Manchin, the only Democrat who broke with the party’s narrative and voted for Kavanaugh’s confirmation is now ahead of his rival.

Races in Missouri and New Jersey are too close to call but both sides think they have the advantage.

While in recent midterms the majority has usually been flipped in favor of the opposition party, this year’s race has been surprisingly unpredictable as a direct result of Trump’s influence.

Democrats are headed to the election thinking that the president’s extreme policies on immigration, tax and healthcare would help them make a case against the Republican Party.

On the other hand, the majority of Republicans think the president is hitting the right chords and they can win with his support. Some Republicans, however, think those policies are divisive and they should distance themselves from the president if they want to win.

All in all, the race is shaping up as one of the most critical in recent history, especially since Democrats have pledged to impeach Trump and even Kavanaugh if they get the required majority.

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