WHIP COUNT: 4 of 11 Swing Votes on Kavanaugh Leaning Yes? | NTK Network WHIP COUNT: 4 of 11 Swing Votes on Kavanaugh Leaning Yes?

WHIP COUNT: 4 of 11 Swing Votes on Kavanaugh Leaning Yes?

NTK Network identified 11 senators on the fence on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh this week. Are four already leaning 'yes'?

By NTK Staff | 07.12.2018 @10:00am
WHIP COUNT: 4 of 11 Swing Votes on Kavanaugh Leaning Yes?

President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court on Monday night.

NTK Network identified 10 senators who will swing one way or the other on Kavanaugh on Monday. We’re adding Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to the list, even though Paul voted for Gorsuch.

Of the eleven swing votes, four are Republicans and seven are Democrats. They are:

  • Republicans: Paul, Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John McCain (R-AZ)
  • Democrats: Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Doug Jones (D-AL)

NTK Network figures Kavanaugh already has 47 ‘yes’ votes and 42 ‘no’ votes locked in.

While six of the 11 swing senators above (all Democrats) have hemmed and hawed in the days since Kavanaugh’s nomination, four (the three Republicans and one Democrat) already sound like they’re leaning ‘yes’ on Kavanaugh.

Who are they?


The ailing senator tweeted in support of Kavanaugh after Trump’s announcement on Monday night.

The ‘X factor’ for McCain is his health. Can the senator, suffering from brain cancer, make it to Washington, D.C. for a vote?


The Maine senator, one of three Republican ‘swing’ votes, said Kavanaugh “has impressive credentials and extensive experience” in her statement Monday.

Collins and her Republican colleague from Alaska, Murkowski, have said they will only vote to confirm a justice who will uphold precedent on Roe v. Wade.


Murkowski suggested, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, that Kavanaugh is a better pick for her than some of Trump’s other options.

“I think it’s fair to say that there were some folks on the list…who would have been more difficult for me,” she said. She added that she hadn’t yet been asked to meet with the nominee. “I figure he’s got to get through the Judiciary Committee folks first,” she said. “I will get asked, I’m sure.”


Manchin, the vulnerable incumbent from West Virginia, became the first Senate Democrat to heap praise on Kavanaugh on Wednesday. In an interview flagged by NTK Network and others, Manchin said Kavanaugh “has all the right qualities.”

“No, I don’t have a lean. I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards. A family person who’s very involved in his community. Has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated,” Manchin said.

If McCain makes it to Washington for the Kavanaugh vote, and the other three senators above support the judge, then Kavanaugh already has 51 votes. If McCain cannot make it to Washington, Kavanaugh still can be confirmed by a 50-49 vote.

NTK Network will update our whip count if Paul, Donnelly, Heitkamp, McCaskill, Nelson, Tester, or Jones weigh in.

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