Progressives Try to Save Red State Democrat

Senator Donnelly from Indiana is in serious trouble for voting against Judge Kavanugh, but he’s hoping for out of state progressive support. The Washington Examiner reports:

Sen. Joe Donnelly, the vulnerable Indiana Democrat, has been working the middle to survive this year’s election. He’s advertising about his own moderation. He votes with the president some days, votes against him others, and reminds voters of his centrist record every chance he gets. It is the only way to win re-election in a state that went for Trump by 19 points, and from day one it has been the de facto strategy of the Donnelly campaign.

Donnelly was just one of the three Senate Democrats who voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He was happy to do it because it solidified his reputation as a moderate while placating some conservatives. Suddenly, the incumbent wasn’t just another partisan swamp creature. He was an independent willing, to work with or split with the president, depending on the situation.

Donnelly tried to run the same play with Brett Kavanaugh, appealing to his centrist credentials. He wouldn’t support Kavanaugh, he said, not because the nominee wasn’t qualified or of bad character, but because the FBI never had a chance to investigate allegations of sexual assault.

It was a decent excuse until Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., got the FBI to investigate. Donnelly suddenly had to change his explanation. He began to argue that Kavanaugh wasn’t qualified because of his “temperament and impartiality.”

Will Donnelly survive the upcoming election?

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