1. SOUNDBITE (English) Lisa Mascaro, AP Chief Congressional Correspondent:
"Polls as we move into the midterm season are showing us that there is a gap for Republican voters with women. Do you worry at all that this issue in this Supreme Court battle has widened that gap or is maybe a short term win but poses some long term trouble for the party?"
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader:
"I don't see how much could be much wider than it already was. I mean is in all of the public opinion polls there's a wide gender gap. We've we've always had that to some extent. It clearly is wider than it used to be. What I do think a bit on the politics of the recent confirmation, what we're talking about here, and whether that contributed to it. I think it did contribute to our side getting more interested because we've had a kind of a not only a gender gap but we've also had an enthusiasm gap. You know they were a lot more enthusiastic about the fall election than we appeared to be. I do think that the controversy over this ironically produced like an adrenaline shot for the people on our side."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Julie Pace, AP Washington Bureau Chief:
"Why do you think the gender gap is wider now than it has been previously?"
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader:
"Well it's an interesting question and something I'm not happy with and I hope we can improve in the coming weeks and years."
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Padmananda Rama, AP Congressional Producer:
"Republican women are not winning their Senate races. And in contrast there are a large number of Democratic women who have won their primaries and are running now for seats in the Senate."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader:
"It's a great frustration. With regard to the committee, I've tried to talk to some of the woman into going on the Judiciary Committee and I'm going to try again at the beginning of the next Congress. And they just haven't been interested. They've had other interests that just haven't aligned to going on on the Judiciary Committee. As far as women candidates go. We've always had plenty of women candidates. We've had trouble winning as many races."
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Matthew Daly, AP Congressional Reporter:
Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska was the only Republican to oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. She ended up voting present, but she made it clear that she opposes him and President Trump wasn't very happy about it and he said she's never going to recover in Alaska. Do you think that A) that that's true or B) is that fair?
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader:
"Well she's certainly going to recover. This is a woman who got elected with a write in vote in 2010. She's about as strong as you could possibly be in Alaska. Nobody is going to beat her. I'm proud she's in the Republican conference and I would remind everyone she voted for Justice Gorsuch. She voted for all 26 of our circuit judges and she is a Republican in our conference in very good standing."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Wednesday that Republicans have a long-standing gender gap when it comes to women voters, but he stood by one key Republican saying "nobody's going to beat" Sen. Lisa Murkowski despite her opposition to Brett Kavanaugh.
The GOP leader told The Associated Press he doesn't think the divisive battle over confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court amid the sexual misconduct allegations made the gap in which Republicans trail Democrats in support among women any worse.
"I don't see how it could be much wider than it already was," told AP in an interview Wednesday. "We've always had that," he said. "It clearly is wider than it used to be."
His remarks were part of a wide-ranging interview in which McConnell also discussed his party's troubles electing women even as he expects the Kavanaugh vote will provide an "adrenaline shot" of GOP enthusiasm at the polls. Heading into the November midterms, the GOP is defending its House and Senate majorities. Only six of the 51 Republicans in the Senate are women.
The GOP leader said it's not that there aren't enough Republican women running, but that they don't win their elections the way Democratic women do.
"It's a great frustration," he said.
McConnell also said one fix he's hoping to make is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The all-male lineup on the Republican side of the aisle came into focus during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct in high school and college. He has denied the allegations.
McConnell said he's hoping to convince more Republican women to join the committee, but says he hasn't had much success in the past because "they just haven't been interested."
In the interview, McConnell also disputed President Donald Trump's prediction that Alaskans "will never forgive" Murkowski and that she'll "never recover" politically after bucking her party on Kavanaugh. Murkowski voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination and "present" on the final vote.
"Nobody's going to beat" Murkowski," McConnell said. He noted that Murkowski won election as a write-in vote in 2010. "She's about as strong as you can possibly be in Alaska. Nobody's going to beat her."
Gender ratio , Demographics , Social affairs , Judicial appointments and nominations , Government appointments and nominations , Government and politics , Judicial appointments and nominations , Judiciary , Legislature , Supreme courts , National courts , Courts , National courts , National governments
Mitch McConnell , Lisa Murkowski , Donald Trump , Brett Kavanaugh
United States Congress, United States government, United States Senate, U.S. Republican Party