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The Alito Vote Tally,
according to Ed Whelan at Bench Memos:
I believe that 86 senators have now declared their positions: 55 for Alito, 31 against. Of the remaining Democrats, four (Conrad, Dorgan, Landrieu, and Pryor) are possible yes votes.

So it looks like Alito will get between 56 and 62 votes — probably 58 to 61.
The vote is currently scheduled for next Tuesday.
DNL (mail):
I think that there's a vastly underreported story here; namely, how this vote will reflect the chances of Dem presidential hopefuls and those running for reelection in contestable areas.

I was somewhat surprised when Sen. Kerry announced his push for a filibuster, but I think it is a calculated political move. He was close enough in '04 that he could run again in '08 and have a legit shot at the nomination, but to get the nomination, he needs to keep being a leader of the left. If Alito gets between 51 and 59 votes and he hadn't called for the filibuster, many would criticize him greatly. Ergo, this is a CYA.

However, incumbent Dems who want to retain their seats but may face an actual challenge will be hard pressed to either vote against Alito or to filibuster. So there's some real downward pressure on the number of nays.

If this were a clearer margin -- say, it looked liked Alito would hit 55 but no way he'd get to 60 -- I think you'd see a very different rhetorical landscape. But that shouldn't be. Alito is not a function of his vote tally; the vote tally is a function of Alito. That being the case, we really need to take most of the rhetoric with a huge grain of salt.
1.27.2006 9:27am
David Maquera (mail) (www):
Thank the gods for idiots like Kerry. It is quite obvious that Kerry's call for a filibuster is nothing more than a political stunt designed to enhance his presidential prospects in '08. What he miscalculated is the Senate GOP's resolve to exercise the nuclear option thereby eliminating filibusters for judicial nominees. President Bush still has three years left in his second term and if he has the opportunity to make another judical nomination to SCOTUS, the radical left wing will have Kerry and Chappaquiddick Kennedy to thank for having provided the Senate GOP with the excuse it needed to exercise the nuclear option at this time.
1.27.2006 9:46am
El Capitan (mail):
Lautenberg and Menedez are long-shot yesses as well.
1.27.2006 9:56am
PoliSci:
For some scientific analysis, check out Keith Poole and Howard Rosental's web-site: http://www.pooleandrosenthal.com/ Under "Analysis of recent politics" they have predictions of the Alito (and past nominations).
1.27.2006 9:58am
Jeremy Pierce (mail) (www):
CSPAN 2 has been tallying the votes by individual senators in their sidebar while the senators have been "debating". The last tally I saw was shortly before they stopped at 8pm EST. It was 55-32. I'm predicting that he gets at least 60 votes. One of the senators who hasn't declared anything yet is Ted Stevens, who will almost certainly vote for Alito. We have been told that one Republican plans to vote against him, and none have publicly indicated that yet. My guess is Chafee. Collins has already said yes, and Snowe and Collins usually vote together. That's 57-33 with all Republicans and all declared Democrats. Of the remaining Democrats, Jay Rockefeller might be swayed by Bird. He was with Roberts. That was a surprise then, though. Lautenberg, Dayton, Cantwell, and Bayh voted against Roberts, so they're unlikely, though you never know with Bayh. He's taken a lot of heat for that. Baucus, Pryor, Dorgan, Landrieu, and Conrad may well vote yes. They're all red staters who voted for Roberts, and many of them tend to be more moderate anyway. The ones I'd be completely unable to predict are Dodd (one of the only two to go with Ashcroft, and he did support Roberts) and Menendez (so new we know little about him, though I wouldn't hold my breath). I'd say it's unlikely that he'd get more than 64, and 60 or 61 may be more likely. I think 58 is improbably low at this point, given how many of the undeclared Democrats are fairly moderate and/or from red states, many of who face elections next year.
1.27.2006 9:58am
Houston Lawyer:
I have this mental image in my head of Kerry, on one of those ridiculous looking satellite phones in Davos, trying to lead a filibuster by speakerphone on the floor of the Senate. Has anyone rounded up Scalia for noon on Tuesday so that he can be there for the swearing in?
1.27.2006 11:02am
Fishbane (mail):
Has anyone rounded up Scalia for noon on Tuesday so that he can be there for the swearing in?

I heard he'll be on a duck hunt.
1.27.2006 11:31am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Thank the gods for idiots like Kerry. It is quite obvious that Kerry's call for a filibuster is nothing more than a political stunt designed to enhance his presidential prospects in '08. What he miscalculated is the Senate GOP's resolve to exercise the nuclear option thereby eliminating filibusters for judicial nominees. President Bush still has three years left in his second term and if he has the opportunity to make another judical nomination to SCOTUS, the radical left wing will have Kerry and Chappaquiddick Kennedy to thank for having provided the Senate GOP with the excuse it needed to exercise the nuclear option at this time.


I don't think it matters that much any more. This session will be over soon and when the new Congress is sworn in, the Senate can decide not to adopt the rules of the previous session on allowing filibusters of judicial nominees with a simple majority.
1.27.2006 12:29pm
Jeremy Pierce (mail) (www):
There's still a year left in this Congress. It lasts two years, not one. Also, the next Senate can do that only if they have enough votes. But the biggest problem with this discussion is the assumption that there will be 40 senators willing to filibuster. If Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein have opposed a filibuster, it's extremely unlikely that it could happen, especially given that both of them are among the no votes. It's likely Alito will get around 60 votes as it is, and even if it's slightly lower, Biden and Feinstein alone could pull it up to 60, never mind any other senators who wouldn't support him but also wouldn't support a filibuster. There's virtually no chance of a filibuster here. Kerry and Kennedy are simply going to look like idiots for trying to filibuster someone with 60% support of the Senate.
1.27.2006 12:52pm
Craig Oren (mail):
The filibuster might be a clever strategy to help Democrats, like Lautenberg and Menendez, who are under pressure both ways. They can vote to break the filibuster, and then vote against the nomination. In this way, they can give a little to each side.

OTOH, it makes no sense for Kerry to move to the left. He didn't lose in 2004 for not being left enough.
1.27.2006 3:28pm