Around 5 p.m. Saturday, the U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughVice President Mike Pence may cast the deciding vote (one Republican senator will be at his daughter’s wedding). Most believe this will bring a distinct rightward shift to the high court.

It could also signal a similar shift in the showdown between U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican nominee Mike Braun. They are locked in a tight race, with the latest Fox News poll giving Donnelly a 43-41% lead with Libertarian Lucy Brenton at 6% (Donnelly is well below that 50% that makes an incumbent comfortable and Brenton seems to be siphoning off some of his support). Donnelly’s likely voters extremely or very interested in voting for him stood at 71%; Braun at 72% with his voters. In September poll, Donnelly was at 76% and Braun at 66%. So Republican intensity is up. That's the Kavanaugh impact. 

The two square for their first statewide televised debate at 7 p.m. Monday (6 p.m. CT) at Purdue North Central in Westville. We’ll be covering that, and keeping a keen eye on post-Kavanaugh confirmation polls in the coming week. This U.S. Senate race is a tossup and volatile. 
- Brian A. Howey, publisher