According to Fox News, Brett Kavanaugh may not have enough Republican votes to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Yesterday Chad Pergram, congressional reporter for Fox News, posted a tweet explaining that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is no sure thing:
“Kavanaugh nomination is in trouble. That’s why McConnell made blistering speech today. Baseball teams mail it in once they are out of pennant race. McConnell trying to get GOPers to run out every ground ball in effort to salvage nomination. Kavanaugh lacks the votes right now.”
Kavanaugh nomination is in trouble. That's why McConnell made blistering speech today. Baseball teams mail it in once they are out of pennant race. McConnell trying to get GOPers to run out out every ground ball in effort to salvage nomination. Kavanaugh lacks the votes right now
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 24, 2018
He also listed the eight Republican senators who have not said they would vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation:
“Kavanaugh requires 51 yeas for confirmation. Senate divided 51 GOPers to 49 Sens who caucus with Dems. 43 GOPers are yeas. 8 GOPers have not pledged their votes yet: Collins, Corker, Enzi, Flake, Lankford, Moran, Murkowski & Sasse.”
Kavanaugh requires 51 yeas for confirmation. Senate divided 51 GOPers to 49 Sens who caucus with Dems. 43 GOPers are yeas. 8 GOPers have not pledged their votes yet: Collins, Corker, Enzi, Flake, Lankford, Moran, Murkowski & Sasse.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 25, 2018
Pergram later published a more detailed article on the Fox News website explaining his concerns that the Kavanaugh nomination may still go down in flames. He wrote:
“There are at least four Republican senators who are genuinely in play right now. Fox is told the number could be as high as seven Republicans. The four obvious ones on the fence are Collins, Corker, Flake and Murkowski.”
The situation is complicated because Kavanaugh was on TV last night, and even though he gave a very weak interview, he said he would not withdraw.
Last week Mitch McConnell in a speech at the Values Voters Summit said,
“In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court. So my friends, keep the faith.”
But yesterday he gave a desperate speech where he didn’t seem so confident. Although he had bragged earlier about having enough votes to confirm Kavanaugh, it appears that he was lying.
“Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on here on the Senate floor. Up or down, on the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate in the near future,” said McConnell yesterday, admitting that a floor vote could end up without Kavanaugh being confirmed.
And even Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. expressed doubt when he said, “We’re in the Twilight Zone when it comes to Kavanaugh.”
According to Pergram:
“A nominee on the verge of sailing to confirmation doesn’t appear on national television with his wife to make his case. That’s why Senate Majority Leader McConnell is trying to salvage the nomination.”
Pergram seems to think that a floor vote on Kavanaugh would work to GOP advantage even if it fails. He wrote:
“Forging ahead with a vote could help Republicans in the midterms. Holding a vote could be a tactic to force moderate Democratic senators facing competitive re-election bids from red states, to declare their position on Kavanaugh. No free passes. This approach was part of the GOP game plan with Kavanaugh from the start.”
“So why not stick to the playbook? Republicans might not install Kavanaugh on the High Court. But they can at least weaponize a roll call vote against Sens. Joe Manchin, D-WVa.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and a host of others in an effort to bolster Senate Republicans.”
It was thought that McConnell would yank Kavanaugh’s nomination off the floor if he lacked the votes for confirmation, but that no longer appears to be the case.
The truth is that the Kavanaugh nomination has become toxic and a floor vote with the full Senate vote would probably hurt instead of help the Republican Senators who are up for reelection. And it may backfire and actually help the “at risk” Democratic senators.
Regardless, it’s a good sign for Democrats when Mitch McConnell appears nervous and Fox News admits that Kavanaugh doesn’t have the votes to be confirmed.
What happens the rest of the week — especially Thursday — will decide Kavanaugh’s fate. And it doesn’t look promising for him.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.