LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to call a vote for President Trump’s upcoming nominee.
He didn’t say when that vote should happen – before or after the presidential election.
We talked with ABC 36 political analyst Stephen Voss about what McConnell must weigh in making his decision about a vote to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with just a month and a half before the presidential election.
Would he even have enough votes in his own party?
Voss says McConnell seems confident he can hold together his caucus.
“That he has enough unity among republican senators that he will be able to move a Trump nomination forward,” says Voss.
But senators can often surprise.
Two republican senators have already said the nominee should be up to the president elected November 3rd.
A couple others agree but it’s not clear if they’d try to block a nomination.
Democrats think republicans should follow the precedent GOP legislators set in 2016 by refusing to consider a Supreme Court choice in the run-up to an election.
“It’s easy to sell an argument that the GOP is being hypocritical,” says Voss.
If McConnell tries to get a vote before the election would he be hurting republicans in tight Senate races? Possibly slimming his Senate majority.
Voss says because politics are so nationalized right now voters likely see the Senate race as a battle over a broader national conflict, rather than about an individual senator.
“We act as though voters are naive and narrowly focused on the choice between one person versus the other but they’re really not that irrational,” says Voss.
He says adding another conservative in place of a liberal justice could shore up the republican-appointed majority in a way that would make a real difference in policy, which explains the push.
And the SCOTUS debate could even help McConnell’s own campaign.
“It gives him a way to pump up his base which was gonna be harder to do in this election,” says Voss.