Assuming the risk

Byron York of National Review considers the political impact of the Senate war over judges. Recent polling, conducted after last week’s marathon debate, suggests that the issue is having some impact among independent voters. According to York, the polling shows that a significant number of independents are aware of the fight. Their collective view of the Republican role is essentially neutral, while their view of the Democratic role is negative by a margin of 55 to 40.
My sense is that the outcome of the upcoming presidential election will have to be close as last time for the judge wars to have any effect on that race. However, I continue to believe that the Senate Democrats’ behavior could change the outcome of a Senate race or two. The Democratic position that mainstream southern politicians like William Pryor (the elected attorney general of Alabama) are ideologically unfit to be federal appellate judges is an insult to the south. With at least four Democratic Senate seats in that region up for grabs, the Democrats may pay a price for reading the south out of the American mainstream.
The Democrats probably understand the peril. However, as their own staff memos show, the special interests groups dominate the actions of Senate Democrats with respect to judicial nominations to the point that they nonetheless feel compelled to bear the risk of more lost seats.

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