Analyst says Donnelly’s decision to vote no against Kavanaugh ‘could hurt him’


Sen. Joe Donnelly (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly made a difficult decision which could hurt him, a political analyst said Friday, after the lawmaker announced he would vote “No” against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.

The race for his Senate seat is already referred to as a “toss up” and now some say this move could cost him some votes.

According to a statement released Friday, Donnelly suggested his biggest issue was the lack of an FBI investigation into claims of sexual assault by Kavanaugh.

The statement reads in part:

“Unfortunately, despite having the time and opportunity to do so, Senator McConnell has refused to allow that FBI investigation. Even the American Bar Association, which has previously rated Judge Kavanaugh as ‘well qualified’ has called for an FBI investigation, where we could learn more information and other potential witnesses could be interviewed.”

Since then, President Trump has ordered the FBI to conduct a “supplemental” investigation to be completed within a week. Donnelly has not said whether he would consider changing his vote.

“This vote was one of the most difficult, probably the most difficult that he’ll ever cast. And it could hurt him with a lot of voters,” said Politico contributing editor Adam Wren.

He said a lot could change before Election Day.

“There will be a lot of outside money raining down on Indiana over the next 40 days,” said Wren. “Right now, Donnelly has more cash on hand. About five times more cash on hand than his Republican opponent. But the money coming into the state will really be a difference maker before November.”

The money, Wren said, will likely be directed towards undecided voters.

“I think there are some Americans in the middle of the process that really probably found Dr. Ford’s testimony powerful and illuminating. We saw reports of sexual assaults skyrocket yesterday with several of the national hotlines. But I think for most partisan voters, it really just sort of confirmed their preexisting beliefs about the process.”

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