March 20, 2017

Red State Democrats Caught In “Pressure Cooker”

Red state Senate Democrats are stuck in the middle as Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today. While Judge Gorsuch’s sterling credentials make blocking his nomination hard to justify to voters back home, liberal activists are demanding just that, electoral consequences be damned.

Already 2018 Senators like Bob Casey and Joe Manchin have been confronted by liberal activists at their town halls:

“Democratic Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.)—who are both up for reelection in 2018—were confronted by liberal constituents during in-state townhalls over the past week but insisted they wouldn’t make a decision until Gorsuch testifies.”

At the same time, back in DC, activists are warning red state Senate Democrats that they’ll be “held accountable” for their vote on Gorsuch:

“’The progressive base is counting on you, and we will have your backs’ if vulnerable Democrats vote against Trump’s nominee, Hess said. But she also warned senators that activists will ‘hold them accountable’ if they vote for Gorsuch.”

While liberals have vocally opposed Gorsuch, voters in the Democratic Senators’ home states are hearing a decidedly pro-Gorsuch message:

“But Democrats and aligned outside groups are being badly outspent on TV advertising ahead of the hearings. GOP and conservative groups have spent more than $3.3 million, according to CNN, compared to $180,000 from Democrats. And conservative groups have launched rounds of TV and web ads targeting vulnerable Democrats in their home states.”

The overwhelmingly pro-Gorsuch message outside of DC means that if these Democrats bow to the liberal obstructionists they’ll be held accountable for it in 2018.