Thursday, August 6, 2009


Of the last undeclared Republicans, Gregg and Voinovich are voting for Sotomayor, while Murkowski is voting against.

So the final tally is nine aye, thirty-one nay.

The nine include the two moderates from Maine (Snow and Collins); four who are retiring (Gregg, Voinovich, Bond, and Martinez); and Lugar, Graham, and Alexander.

I think that pretty much defines the universe of Republicans who the Obama administration can even vaguely hope to go to for votes on health care or anything else, certainly anything that becomes a partisan battle. Notice that it does not include Grassley, and certainly does not include Enzi; it's hard to see Enzi voting with the Democrats on anything that gets fewer than, say, eighty votes. Really, I don't think that either Graham or Alexander is a plausible target, either.

More realistically, it's worth remembering at all times that every Democratic Senator has a voting record that is more liberal than is the voting record of every Republican Senator. If Obama wants to pass something, it is rarely going to make sense to look beyond Collins and Snowe to find the 60th vote.

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