After a discussion with some friends today about this, I remembered some comments I posted at Confirm Them last month, on just how the Senate breaks out on upholding v. overturning the execrable Roe v. Wade.
Here's what I posted:
You know, we actually have a record vote on this. In 2003, Sen. Harkin brought a non-binding, “Sense of the Senate” resolution to a vote on upholding Roe. It carried 52-46. The two that failed to vote, Biden and McConnell, presumably make it 53-47. In the next election, the GOP added four Senators, to a 55-45 majority. The net prolife pickup was three seats, making it 50-50.
Now, that may sound iffy: but let’s look at that record vote in 2003, and let’s look for who might be “swing” votes on this, in relation to a confirmation vote:
We find 8 pro-Roe Republicans: Murkowski & Stevens of Alaska; Collins & Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Chafee, R.I.; Hutchison, Tex.; Warner, Va.;
We find 2 anti-Roe Democrats: Pryor, Ark.; Ben Nelson, Neb.; plus:
Four pro-Roe “red-state” Democrats: Lincoln, Ark.; Bill Nelson, Fla.; Bayh, Ind.; Landrieu, La.
Those two anti-Roe Democrats are surely good targets for a confirmation fight: they not only voted against Roe, they are from red states. Take two from that 50 “pro-Roe” total, now 48;
Now: I happen to think those last four are legitimate targets — take 4 votes out of those 48 “pro-Roe” votes, now 44.
Of those eight pro-Roe Republicans, I doubt Specter, Hutchison or Chafee cross the President on this one. Specter would lose his chairmanship; Hutchison is from Texas, and Chafee faces a primary challenge from the right and wants the White House to help him. Take three more from the “pro-Roe” total — now 41.
Five more GOP Senators who could bolt. I grant you lose some: Warner voted against Bork, for example, and maybe Collins and Snowe; Stevens and Murkowski, harder to see them going against the White House; and any GOP Senator is vulnerable to White House pressure.
So where does that leave us? We know we have 50 votes, based on that record vote of 2003, plus 2004 pickups. Plus, I’ve just come up with three probable GOP votes, five more possible GOP votes, plus a few Democrats certainly in play.
No, it’s not a landslide. But my point was simply to show, with some hard facts, instead of unsupport rhetoric, that its invalid to assume an openly anti-Roe nominee can’t be confirmed. Sure he can: I just showed you the votes.
(Sources: http://www.adaction.org/2003senatevr.htm; http://www.nrlc.org/news/2004/NRL11/index.html.)