In five day’s time, on April 7, the Senate will vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation. The Republicans may have a 52 to 48 majority, but they need 60 votes to end the filibuster, which means persuading 6 Democrats to vote for Gorsuch.
Two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, have come out in support of Gorsuch, perhaps because they are both up for reelection next year in heavily Republican states that voted for Trump last year.
That leaves 10 undecided Democrat senators who hold the balance in their hands. So, who are they, and are there any indications of which way they will fall?
Senators Up For Re-Election In 2018 In States That Voted Trump
These are probably the two Senators most likely to be swayed to the other side of the aisle for this vote.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (Indiana) – Donnelly is a red-state Democrat targeted by Republicans. Indiana voted Trump in the election so Donnelly could either vote with the Republicans to keep those red voters happy and upset his liberal supporters or vote with the Democrats and risk losing his seat. He has given no indication on which way he is leaning and directs all questions to his office.
Sen. Jon Tester (Montana) – The Judicial Crisis Network, along with the Republican National Committee have targeted Tester with an ad campaign. Tester is in the same position as Donnelly, which is why the RNC hopes to sway him. When asked about his position on Friday, Tester said he was still reading about Gorsuch and was undecided about which way he would go.
Senators Up For Re-Election In 2018 In States That Voted Clinton
These four have re-elections to consider, but they represent blue states, so they do not experience the same pressures and conflicts that Tester and Donnelly do.
“When I come to a conclusion on how I’m voting on Gorsuch, I’ll decide on how I’m voting in the whole process.”
Senators Up For Re-Election In 2018
Without a looming re-election fight, these Senators are in the best position of the ten.
Sen. Mark Warner (Virginia) – Warner is the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee which has kept him somewhat busy of late. This week he told reporters he was concerned about Gorsuch’s ‘evasive answers’ in last week’s hearings.
“…Never inclined to filibuster.”
Featured Image Provided By Senator Claire McCaskill Via Flickr/CC-By-ND-2.0.