Speed Reads

Kavanaugh Confirmation

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is reportedly leaning yes on Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh may have the support of at least one Democratic senator.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) now seems to be leaning towards voting "yes" on Kavanaugh, according to a new report from Politico, which also says Manchin "certainly is gettable" for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). Kavanaugh needs at least 50 votes to be confirmed (Vice President Mike Pence would break the tie), and since there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, a "yes" vote from Manchin could make up for a "no" vote from another swing senator like Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) or Susan Collins (R-Maine). President Trump clearly sees Manchin as gettable, as Politico reports the two have spoken about the confirmation.

However, there's a catch: Politico notes Manchin "doesn’t want to be the 50th vote for Kavanaugh," but he's okay being the 51st or 52nd vote. In other words, Manchin seems fine with voting for Kavanaugh in a scenario where GOP senators don't defect and Kavanaugh's confirmation is assured. But if it becomes clear that he's the deciding vote, that's where he's more conflicted. Manchin is up for re-election this November in a state Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016.

Though Manchin hasn't made many public remarks about Kavanaugh, and while he told Politico that he's still undecided, he also noted that he sympathizes with Kavanaugh and is "not hearing anything [disqualifying] from the 30 years as an adult, in his professional life." Manchin also recently told Al Jazeera that he is "looking at the gentleman as an adult from 22 to 53" and "trying to put the human side to it."