MCLEAN, Va. - The fallout in the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is being felt in Northern Virginia where candidates are waging one of the most watched races in the nation.
Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, who is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Jennifer Wexton in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, has known Kavanaugh for years and backed his confirmation despite allegations of sexual misconduct.
Wexton is counting on Kavanaugh’s confirmation to ignite a “blue wave” of Democratic voters to drive Comstock out of Congress.
Comstock agrees that the Kavanaugh confirmation is a significant issue, but the candidates disagree on what it means for their race.
A Monmouth University poll shows Wexton leading Comstock 50 percent to 44 percent.
A Christopher Newport University poll has Wexton ahead of Comstock by 51 percent to 44 percent.
Comstock’s campaign has attacked those polls as inaccurate, while Wexton says she’s not taking anything for granted as Election Day draws closer.
“People feel like they're not being heard like what Congress is doing in Washington is not representing their values and best interest of the people of this district and people are realizing that democracy is fragile and they can’t sit on the sidelines and assume everything is going to be okay,” Wexton said.
"We want people to come forward and have that voice and that's a non-partisan issue. Unfortunately, Supreme Court nominations have become very partisan, but I think it's very important that women understand nothing has changed. We've had a sea change over the past year? People can come forward,” Comstock said.
Democrats need to win at least 23 GOP-held seats to flip the House of Representatives.
The 10th District has been a Republican seat since 1981, but for the first time in 37 years, Democrats believe that shifting demographics have altered the political landscape, making the traditionally red area more blue.
Comstock stands by her support for Kavanaugh, but she also points to her harassment reforms in Congress, and tries to paint Wexton as a tax and spend Democrat.
Wexton has sought to tie Comstock directly President Donald Trump – even referring to her as “Trumpstock” in some TV ads.
Outside money is a major factor in the district.
A Democratic Political Action Committee on the left has been coming to support Wexton. Republican and Conservative groups are doing the same for Comstock.
Mostly, the 10th Congressional District is being waged in TV commercials. Wexton and Comstock have held only one debate, but a future forum is scheduled.