Joe Manchin, a Democrat, to Vote Yes to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

joe manchin kavanaugh

Getty Joe Manchin voted to advance the Kavanaugh nomination to a full vote and limit debate.

Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia, has announced that he is going to vote “yes” to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. People shouted “shame, shame” as Manchin spoke to reporters about his decision. “I had to deal with the facts I had in front of me,” he said on CNN.

Manchin released his decision and statement just minutes after Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins also revealed that she will vote yes for Kavanaugh. In addition, Republican Senator Jeff Flake has also indicated he is a yes vote. The lone holdout Senator, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, has indicated that she might vote no.

Here is Manchin’s statement:

“From the start of this process, I promised my constituents that I would look seriously at Judge Kavanaugh’s record and cast my vote based on the facts I have before me and what is best for West Virginia. I met with the nominee for over two hours, attended his hearings, spoke with constitutional experts, and heard from thousands of West Virginians,” Manchin wrote in part.

“I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearings. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life. However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him. I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him on the court.”

However, the Manchin, Collins and Flake coalition would be enough to confirm Kavanaugh if they actually follow through on how they are saying they are going to vote.

“I believe something happened to Dr. Ford. I don’t believe the facts show it was Brett Kavanaugh,” said Manchin.

Manchin, a red-state Democrat, earlier also voted yes to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a vote in the full Senate. That previous vote was to limit debate, meaning Kavanaugh’s nomination will get a vote probably Saturday.

Flake was the Republican from Arizona who engineered the last-minute delay so the FBI could conduct its week-long supplemental background investigation into the Kavanaugh accusations by three women. Kavanaugh has denied the accusations. Manchin is up for re-election this November in West Virginia. That is a state that President Donald Trump won by a very large margin – by more than 40 percentage point, in fact. He has a decent sized lead in the polls against the Republican, Patrick Morrisey.

Joe Manchin was also confronted by protesters on October 5, 2018, who demanded he oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Republicans Can’t Afford to Lose More Than One Senator

Republicans need every vote they can get, so the Manchin yes to advance to a vote has some Democrats and Republicans on high alert, especially as a result of the Murkowski defection from how her fellow Republicans went. According to The Hill, the math is tight. Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate, which is enough to get Kavanaugh through, but not if more than one Senator vote against him. If there is a tie, VP Mike Pence breaks it, The Hill reported.

Here’s how it boils down: When it comes time to actually vote, Republicans need two of these four swing Senators (Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and Joe Manchin.) If they get two of those senators in any combination, it would tie, but Vice President Mike Pence would break the tie and everyone thinks Pence would push Kavanaugh through. If three of those four vote for Kavanaugh, he is confirmed without Pence needing to jump in. If three of those four vote against Kavanaugh, his nomination is defeated. Flake, Manchin and Collins voting as they said Friday they will would keep the nomination from going to a vice presidential tie breaking situation.

Republican Sen. Steve Daines has a scheduling conflict for Saturday – his daughter’s wedding – but has said he will make it back to vote yes for Kavanaugh.

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