U.S. Judge Brett Kavanaugh (C) arrives at the Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Red state Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who will cast a key vote during Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process, said on Talkline Communications radio Wednesday that Kavanaugh "has all the right qualities" of a Supreme Court Justice, and he will defer to his constituents when casting his vote.

Why it matters: With comments like these, it's no wonder the White House is feeling good about Kavanaugh's confirmation. The conservative movement — after some early warning shots — appears to be rallying around Kavanaugh as well. And so far we've not seen anything from the moderate Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, to signal they won't vote for him either.

Manchin's full quote:

"No I don’t have a lean [on how I will vote]. 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. And with that, you know, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed ... I’ll be hearing from West Virginians and their opinion. And I think they have, also, a right. And that’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process.”

Axios spoke earlier today to a senior administration official involved in the Kavanaugh confirmation process, and they pointed to all of these factors.

Another argument the White House is seizing on to help their case:

  • Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes, who is no fan of President Trump's, wrote a nuanced defense of Kavanaugh's past writings on special counsel investigations.

The bottom line: The White House's optimistic outlook on Kavanaugh isn't unfounded, especially as more of the uncertain voices continue to come out in support of Trump's nominee.

Go deeper

Ted Cruz doesn't think the Hunter Biden attacks are working

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told "Axios on HBO" he doesn't think the Trump campaign's focus on the Biden family's business dealings are having any sway with voters.

The big picture: After watching the Trump-Biden debate with "Axios on HBO" on Thursday night, Cruz said he thought Trump had done very well. But when asked whether he thought voters were moved by the release of the Hunter Biden emails, Cruz replied, "I don't think it moves a single voter."

Ilhan Omar: The Squad expects liberal turn from Biden after election

Rep. Ilhan Omar told "Axios on HBO" that given the way progressives have shaped Joe Biden's policy platform, she and other members of "The Squad" expect a liberal turn from him if he's elected.

Why it matters: Progressives have largely refrained from publicly criticizing Biden in the lead-up to the election, even though he hasn't signed on to their most far-reaching policies. Instead, they're focusing solely on beating Trump.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, soon after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.