Mitch McConnell is pulling incumbent Republican Senators off of the campaign trail so that they can confirm Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.
Senate Republicans are preparing for Democrats’ dilatory tactics, including forcing a series of roll call votes on the Senate floor that Republicans would have to win to keep the nomination moving forward in the Judiciary Committee. That could spoil campaign season for incumbent GOP senators, and McConnell has already told his members to be prepared to be in D.C. to bat down floor votes from the 47-member Democratic minority.
“I understand from the leader that there might be multiple votes that require 51 people present in the Senate chamber, so there’s going to be a premium on people actually being physically present,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). McConnell “has told us that there might be a lot of that back and forth that will require physical voting.”
Democrats already have a cash advantage in the competitive Senate races, and they are leading in enough contests right now, Maine, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina to flip the Senate to Democratic control.
McConnell is gambling that getting a Supreme Court justice confirmed is worth more politically than having endangered Senate Republicans on the campaign trail.
Mitch McConnell is hoping that by rushing through Trump’s Supreme Court nominee he can give his incumbents a boost that they can ride to reelection, but polling and fundraising both reveal that the opposite is happening. The Supreme Court fight is energizing Democrats. It is motivating an already motivated opposition to make sure they take back the Senate.
McConnell is gambling that even if Democrats win back the Senate, they won’t eliminate the filibuster, and expand the Supreme Court, but Democrats are openly promising that this is what will happen if McConnell rams through Trump’s nominee.
The worst-case scenario for McConnell is that Biden wins the presidency, Democrats take back the Senate, and then they declare war on the former Majority Leader. Democrats could turn McConnell into a sideline observer by killing the filibuster and forcing him to impotently watch as they add 2-4 more justices to the Supreme Court.
Republicans have adopted Trump’s mentality of living for today, but Democrats are playing the long-game, and McConnell’s power play could backfire and cost him everything.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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