Jul 9, 2018

By the numbers: The narrow margin to confirm Trump's SCOTUS pick

Gorsuch at his confirmation hearing. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republicans have "a narrower margin for error than they did when the Senate confirmed Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, by a vote of 54-45 in April 2017," AP's Kevin Freking writes.

The bottom line: This time, the GOP might only have one vote to lose.

How we got here:

  • Democratic Sen. Doug Jones won in Alabama, replacing Republican Luther Strange and slashing the Republicans majority in the Senate to 51–49.
  • If Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski vote "no" on Trump's Supreme Court pick and all Democrats also vote "no," the nominee would be blocked.
  • Yes, but: Republican Sen. John McCain has been away from Washington since December as he fights brain cancer.
  • If he misses the vote, that margin becomes that 50–49. And only one Republican senator has to vote with the Democrats to block the nomination.

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