An Indiana pro-family activist believes Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) could face a serious backlash from Hoosier State voters – and lose to his GOP opponent Mike Braun in November’s midterm election – if he votes against the confirmation of United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Donnelly appears to be in considerable trouble against his Republican rival, political newcomer Mike Braun.
Indiana is a solid red state, and Braun has come out in full support of Kavanaugh's appointment.
However, Donnelly is between a rock and a hard place, and has issued an official statement saying that he will, "carefully review and consider [Kavanaugh's] record and qualifications."
American Family Association (AFA) of Indiana Executive Director Micah Clark says that the latest polling numbers show that the Braun-Donnelly race could be a real nail-biter to the end.
"The latest poll I've seen – I think it's the only one this month – so far shows that Mike Braun is ahead by maybe 2 percent,” Clark pointed out. “The poll I saw said 49–47, with Mike Braun over Senator Joe Donnelly. This is a very close race."
The poll Clark is referring to is very close to the results released by the latest RealClearPolitics poll, which shows that the race is even closer, with Braun taking a slimmer one-point lead (47 percent compared to Donnelly’s 46 percent).
RCP’s race analysis shows that things are looking to be in Braun’s favor so far.
“Congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita beat each other up in the primary, and it allowed businessman Mike Braun to sneak up the middle and capture the nomination,” RCP reported. “The danger for Democrats is that someone who hasn’t been to Washington is a pretty good foil for Joe Donnelly in this environment. Polling shows a tight race, which is not what an incumbent Democratic Senator running in a red state wants at this point in the cycle, [and] assuming no major skeletons are in Braun’s closet, Donnelly is in deep trouble."
Clark believes that the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation could play a major role in this race.
"Especially, I think if he votes against Kavanaugh, I think that will hurt him quite a bit,” the Christian leader expressed. “But he's in a box because his party doesn't want Kavanaugh, and his liberal base doesn't want Kavanaugh."
Clark also stressed that Donnelly is not going to be able to continue his fence straddling.
"There's going to be some votes coming up – like this vote on Kavanaugh – where he can't play the middle of the road,” Clark pointed out. “He's going to have to decide one way or another – and I think [if] he votes against Kavanaugh, he's in trouble."
Donnelly – along with Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota – voted for the confirmation of SCOTUS Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.