When many conservative women around the country watched Christine Blasey Ford appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, they didn’t find her testimony compelling or convincing, as many liberals did.
They saw a political farce.
“Honestly, I don’t think I have ever been so angry in all of my adult life,” says Ginger Howard, a Republican national committeewoman from Georgia. “It brings me to the point of tears, it makes me so angry.”
In interviews with roughly a dozen female conservative leaders from as many states, this was the overwhelming sentiment: These women are infuriated with the way the sexual-assault allegations against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been handled. They are not convinced by Ford or any other woman who has come forward. They resent the implication that all women should support the accusers. And they believe that this scandal will ultimately hurt the cause of women who have been sexually assaulted.
Above all, these women, and the women they know, are ready to lash out against Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.
Nearly all the women I spoke with are plugged into state- and local-level conservative politics. Their collective, overwhelming sense is that, like Howard, women voters are angry about what’s happening to Kavanaugh. “I’ve got women in my church who were not politically active at all who were incensed with this,” says Melody Potter, the chairwoman of the West Virginia Republican Party—the first woman to hold that position, she made sure to point out. In her state, the stakes of the Kavanaugh scandal are immense: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is fighting for his seat in a place where more than two-thirds of voters supported Donald Trump in 2016. With voters “energized” to elect people “who are going to support President Trump,” Potter says, West Virginians are closely watching how Manchin acts on Kavanaugh—especially now that the situation has become so politicized.