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GOP Midterm Strategy And Kavanaugh


Last night, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. While Republicans cheered, protesters stormed the steps of the court. This all comes just one month before the midterm elections. So we wanted to ask political activists how it might change the race. In a moment, we'll hear from a Democratic strategist. But first, we're joined from Dallas by Missy Shorey. She is the executive director of Maggie's List, which supports conservative women running for office. Welcome.

MISSY SHOREY: Hello, Lulu. It's a pleasure to be on. Thank you so much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This weekend, Mitch McConnell called opposition to Kavanaugh a great political gift for the Republicans. Do you agree?

SHOREY: We agree 100 percent as conservatives. We've seen something so egregious from the left that we had to take a stand. And we're taking a stand together in a very united way.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What are you hearing from people on the ground in terms of Republicans? Why did this motivate them so much?

SHOREY: Because due process matters - it's simple as that. We are in a situation where the lack of corroboration, even after the additional FBI investigation - we have to say, are we going to continue with our constitutional core and rights we've known? Or are we just going to start making things up? And I'm not saying that anyone in terms of the assertion is making anything up.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was about to say...

SHOREY: I certainly feel - I was going to say - absolutely. I want to be certain. We have tremendous empathy and incredible sadness for Dr. Ford. And we feel terrible that she was used as a political pawn.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Before this fight over Kavanaugh though, all signs - special elections, state elections, fundraising - were pointing to this being a wave election in favor of the Democrats. Do you think that the Kavanaugh confirmation will make a dent in that momentum?

SHOREY: Well, I think that you've already seen it this week. I mean, it was the No. 1 fundraising week for the RNC. We have more people reaching out to us around the country at Maggie's List saying, we must be able to be there to protect the women and men in the future as they go to run for confirmation so that we don't scare them away. And we say this after 3.9 percent unemployment. This is phenomenal.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The fight over Kavanaugh, though, hasn't been playing well with suburban women. And that's a key demographic for both the left and the right - you know, has involved issues that this demographic cares about sexual assault, sexual harassment. Is that a problem for the GOP?

SHOREY: Well, first of all, let's take a step back and look at that premise there, Lulu. I will tell you that as a woman who does live in suburban America - and I try to talk to people and see where their heart is. They were outraged at how Judge Kavanaugh was treated as well as Dr. Ford. If anything, I feel that suburban women have really waken up and said, that could be my son. That could be my husband.


SHOREY: We can't have this.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Most polls show...

SHOREY: And that's what people were calling.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Most polls, though, show that most college-educated, white women believe Ford.

SHOREY: Suburban women make a decision every time they go to the polls as to who they're going to support. They are not part of this wave and this assumption that women are just going to all go left. And you really have people, for example - look at Senator Collins - by no means, a person you consider hard right. But when she looks at the evidence and puts it through the historical lens of looking at the Clintons and essentially how Bill Clinton was aided and abetted by his wife while he victimized young interns - I mean, there's a certain point we have to say enough is enough. And we need to get down to the business of leading our country. And who better to do that than women on both sides of the aisle.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In this last month, what are you running on? What's your pitch to getting people out to vote?

SHOREY: Very simple - your vote matters. You are going to be able to have the government that you want where due process matters, where our constitutional values are reinforced and where we make sure that the threatening wave of socialism from the left is stopped.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Missy Shorey runs the conservative PAC Maggie's List, speaking with us from Texas. Thank you so much.

SHOREY: Thank you, Lulu. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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