Here's the Answer on How the SCOTUS Leak Might Affect the Midterms

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Are you wondering what — if any — effect the leak of the SCOTUS draft opinion has had on the prospects for the midterms?

That’s what it’s been about for the Democrats — to jack up the left with anger, so they would come out in force and prevent the Republicans from the red wave that everyone thinks will be coming. That’s why the White House wouldn’t condemn the leak or the harassment of the justices.


Did it work?

Well, it’s a little early yet, just four days after the leak, and it was the draft and not the final opinion. But according to a new poll from CNN (yes, CNN), it doesn’t appear to have worked.

The share of registered voters who say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this fall rose 6 points between the first survey and the second, but that increase is about even across party lines. Among Democrats, 43% now say they are extremely or very enthusiastic, up 7 points. Among Republicans, it’s 56%, up 9 points. And voters who say overturning Roe would make them “happy” are nearly twice as enthusiastic about voting this fall as those who say such a ruling would leave them “angry” (38% extremely enthusiastic among those happy, 20% among those angry).

So, the Republican enthusiasm increased even more than Democratic enthusiasm. And those that would be happy are almost twice as enthusiastic. Talk about a narrative killer.

Republicans hold a narrow edge over Democrats on the generic ballot test, 49% to 42% among registered voters, a slight improvement for Republicans compared with the poll conducted immediately before the ruling. On the economy — the issue most likely to be a driving factor for voters this fall — nearly half of adults (46%) in the latest poll say the Republican Party’s positions are more aligned with their own, compared with 31% for the Democratic Party. About three-quarters say that which party controls Congress makes a real difference — a figure that did not shift between the two polls — with more Republicans saying so than Democrats (88% vs. 78%).


“Narrow edge.” No, CNN, Seven points is a big jump — up by six points — in terms of the registered voters in favor of the Republicans over the Democrats.

Just a slight correction to the tweet — they say “LV” when they mean “RV” (registered voters vs. likely voters).

So if anything, the Republicans appear to have picked up ground in the wake of the leak.

Now, the situation may yet change when the final decision comes out, likely in June. But if I were to think about why it’s trending even more toward the Republicans, it may be that people don’t like the immediate, extreme reactions they are already seeing from Democrats and/or the leak itself, which is most likely a leftist leak.

Americans can see that while Democrats talk a lot about protecting “democracy,” they are doing all kinds of things to throw norms under the bus–even demonizing other Americans. That craziness and attempt to upset the midterms by any means necessary may just energize the Republicans even more, and bring along more independents in the bargain.


Also bottom line, it’s not going to be abortion that decides the election, no matter how much Democrats want to make it that or think it will make a difference. Far more people are concerned about inflation and the economy, and on that, the Democrats are sunk.


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