Three vulnerable Democrats are among the seven most likely senators to cross party lines in their vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, according to analysis by The Washington Post.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly are all facing tough reelections in dead-red Trump country in November, and all three were the only Senate Democrats who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year.
All three also met with Trump on Thursday about the Supreme Court vacancy after the announcement by Anthony Kennedy earlier in the week that he will retire.
At the top of the list on the GOP side are moderate Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, both pro-choice Republicans, with Collins being the most likely to buck the party and vote against the nominee, according to the Post.
Both also met with the president about the vacancy, and both will be under extreme pressure to confirm, especially given the absence of Sen. John McCain; just one “nay” Republican vote — assuming every Democrat votes down the pick — would sink the nomination.
Other potential GOP holdouts include vulnerable Sen. Dean Heller, up against a tough reelection bid in Nevada, and Sen. Jeff Flake, who’s retiring and has nothing to lose politically.
Flake’s priority is tariffs, but has said he’ll leverage his vote on lower judiciary nominees, not SCOTUS.
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