Democrats are developing a clear advantage in the political fight over President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, with public polling showing opposition to the Senate rushing her confirmation, the focus of the fight shifting to friendlier political terrain and Republicans openly wishing for Democratic missteps.
There is little Democrats can do to stop Barrett’s nomination from moving forward if Republicans remain unified behind her. But Barrett’s views against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights could harm both Trump’s reelection and Republican chances of holding control of the Senate.
The strategies for both parties are fairly obvious: Democrats, led by presidential nominee Joe Biden, plan to relentlessly spotlight Barrett’s views against Obamacare and argue she is part of a Republican plan to kill protections for people with preexisting conditions. Republicans intend to engage in pure power politics and will attempt to bait Democrats into attacking the religion or lifestyle of Barrett, a 48-year-old mother of seven and former law professor at Notre Dame.
Republicans initially hoped the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg could energize their base and help shift the election’s focus away from the coronavirus pandemic to friendlier partisan territory. Democratic messaging discipline, however, has so far kept the debate focused on health care, the issue that helped them take control of the U.S. House in 2018 and still affords them a massive advantage today.
“President Trump sees a chance to fulfill his explicit mission: steal away the vital protections of the ACA from countless families that have come to rely on them for their health, their financial security, the lives of those they love,” Biden said on Sunday in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden’s statement on Barrett’s nomination on Saturday was almost...