Conservative political groups significantly outpaced their liberal counterparts in the opening stages of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, outspending progressive groups seven to one.
The leading right-wing interest groups have spent over $7 million supporting the Kavanaugh confirmation, while progressives have expended just $1.3 million.
“It was always going to be true that the right would outspend the left in this fight,” Demand Justice’s executive director Brian Fallon told Politico. “JCN, the Kochs and the NRA will still drastically outspend our side, but it will probably be closer to six or seven to one instead of the 20-to-1 edge you saw on Gorsuch.”
Demand Justice pledged to spend $5 million opposing Kavanaugh.
The Judicial Crisis Network, America First Policies, the National Rifle Association and the Koch network are the primary pro-Kavanaugh spending vehicles, Politico notes. The bulk of their activity has centered around a handful of Democratic senators standing for reelection this November in states President Donald Trump swept in 2016.
Koch-aligned groups are a fairly recent addition to the right’s judicial confirmation coalition. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) hired a vice president for judicial strategy to coordinate organizing and messaging around judgeships earlier in 2018. AFP also significantly increased investment on confirmations from 2017 to 2018.
AFP claims that affiliated activists across 36 states made 1 million voter contacts as of Aug. 10. They’ve also committed to a seven-figure investment supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
The spending disparity is compounded by an apparent lethargy among grassroots progressives respecting the Supreme Court. Though public opinion polling shows Democratic voters beating Republicans on enthusiasm and related metrics ahead of the November elections, liberal ranks seem inert where the Kavanaugh nomination is concerned.
Kavanaugh will meet this week with senior Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The meetings mark his first contacts with top Democrats, who have thus far refused to meet with him.