Watch these three Republican and five Democratic senators very closely in the coming days.
After a tense day of testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, the Senate is still expected to take up a vote on his confirmation in the coming days.
But despite President Donald Trump’s throwing his full support behind Kavanaugh, there are reports that Republicans are currently short of the 50 votes they need to confirm the president’s appointment.
As of late Thursday night, three Republicans are considered to be genuinely up in the air: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK), Susan Collins (ME), and Jeff Flake (AZ).
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who was previously undecided, will support Kavanaugh, saying Thursday that despite compelling testimony from Ford, he sees nothing that “corroborates” her allegations.
There are also some big questions around how Democrats will vote. There are currently 10 Democrats running for reelection in red states, three of whom voted in favor of the last Trump-appointed Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch: Sens. Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Joe Manchin (WV). Manchin told reporters Thursday night that he was still undecided after the hearings.
Whether the allegations of sexual misconduct give those Democrats enough cover with voters in November to stand in lockstep with the Democratic Party remains to be seen. Kavanaugh is historically unpopular, but has left Americans divided along party lines.
One month ago, Kavanaugh seemed almost guaranteed a seat on the nation’s highest court. But in the past two weeks, three women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him, all dating back to his high school and college days.