Turns out, launching a massive character assassination campaign for purely political purposes has consequences. Who knew?

According to NPR, Democrat enthusiasm has tanked since July when an NPR/PBS/Maris Poll showed Democrats surging ahead with a 10 point lead in voter enthusiasm.

That lead is now 2 points, or as NPR writes, “a statistical tie.”

And take a look at the party breakdown:

NPR has more:

Democrats’ advantage on which party’s candidate they are more likely to support has also been cut in half since last month. Democrats still retain a 6-point edge on that question, but it was 12 points after a Marist poll conducted in mid-September.

The results come amid the pitched and hotly partisan confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Multiple women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college. He categorically denies all the allegations. The FBI is conducting a supplemental investigation into the accusations that is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this week.

With Democrats already up fired up for this election, the Kavanaugh confirmation fight has apparently had the effect of rousing a dormant GOP base.

“The result of hearings, at least in the short run, is the Republican base was awakened,” noted Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

While Democrats and Republicans are now equally enthusiastic about the midterms, the story is very different for key Democratic base groups and independents. While 82 percent of Democrats say the midterms are very important, that’s true of just 60 percent of people under 30, 61 percent of Latinos and 65 percent of independents.

Democrats need to net 23 seats to take back control of the House, but if those groups stay home in large numbers, it would blunt potential Democratic gains. With 34 days to go until Election Day, it all points to another election dominated by party activists.

Last week, Mike blogged about conflicting data, a Pew poll showing Democrats as being more motivated to vote, and a second poll conducted by Gallup that indicated voter rage or enthusiasm will not necessarily result in higher voter turnout.

Also last week, Gallup published a poll showing Republican favorability the highest in seven years.

Each of these polls is asking different questions, but the trend seems to indicate the winds have shifted in the Republican’s favor.