51-49 Split Holds, But Steve Daines Should Keep The Plane Ready

Maine senator Susan Collins announced on the Senate floor Friday that she plans to vote YES on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, which is likely to be held Saturday evening.

Collins talked about how she was forced to watch “special interest groups whip their followers into a frenzy by spreading misrepresentations and outright falsehoods” about Kavanaugh.

Though she went on for a long time and defended Dianne Feinstein from the investigation into her alleged leaking of Christine Blasey Ford’s letter, Collins eventually came around to YES.

With Murkowski voting NO on the Republican side and Joe Manchin voting YES on the Democrat side, and Flake verbally committed to YES, that keeps it 51-49.

With Steve Daines going to his daughter’s wedding in Montana, that makes it 50-49.

Which means it would only take one more Republican defector — Flake? — to defeat Kavanaugh on the Senate floor. However, Daines says that he has congressman Greg Gianforte’s private plane ready to go to take him back to Washington, D.C. to cast his vote if something unexpected happens.

That would tie the vote at 50-50 and send it to Mike Pence for a Kavanaugh-confirming tiebreaker.

Republicans are not out of the woods yet, but their chances are looking a lot better.

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