Red State Dems Filibustering Gorsuch Could Face Consequences In 2018

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — Seven Democratic senators up for reelection next year in states where Donald Trump won plan to join their caucus’s filibuster of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, but doing so could impact their 2018 re-election chances.

Polls show a majority of Americans favor Gorsuch’s confirmation, yet only three Democratic senators have declared their support for the judge’s nomination.

Organizations like the National Rifle Association and the Judicial Crisis Network have spent millions on TV ads in states where these senators live to support the judge’s nomination.

“Some Democrats may be tempted to obstruct his nomination, but we have already launched a robust campaign in key states and we will ultimately force vulnerable Senators to choose between obstructing and keeping their Senate seats,” Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severin said to U.S. News and World Report.

The Democrats’ sweep of Congress in 2006 brought in the many of the red state Democratic senators who face reelection in 2018.

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester won in 2006 against Republican incumbent Conrad Burns by a narrow margin of 0.87 percent. Burns had been in office since 1988.

The following election cycle in 2012 Tester beat Republican challenger then-Rep. Denny Rehberg by 4 percent. A Libertarian candidate in the race drew 6.6 percent of the vote as well.

Similar to Tester, Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill won her first election in 2006 by a slim margin of 2.3 percent against Republican incumbent Jim Talent.

She blew out her opponent in 2012 after then-Rep. Todd Akin made a gaffe relating to rape, which McCaskill and her Democratic allies easily used to their advantage to win reelection that year.

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has been in Congress since 1978. He first won his Senate seat against Republican incumbent Bill McCollum by 5.1 percentage points in 2000.

Republicans ran then-Rep. Katherine Harris, best known for her role in the 2000 recount of her state, against Nelson in 2006. However, she lost to him by a wide margin.

Nelson’s last match up against then Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack in 2012 was closer than his previous race, but Nelson closed the deal by winning by 13 percentage points.

When asked by The Daily Caller if he was concerned about a poll showing high support for Gorsuch in Florida and a close match-up between him and Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, Nelson dismissed it saying the poll was merely an “outlier.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey won his seat in 2006 against third term Republican incumbent Rick Santorum. Casey won reelection in 2012 by just 9 percent against lesser known Republican challenger Tom Smith.

Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is running for her first reelection since winning office in 2012 against Republican Tommy Thompson by 7 percentage points.

Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow has served in Congress since 1996 and began her first term in the Senate in 2000 after beating Republican incumbent Spencer Abraham by 1.5 percent of the vote. Stabenow widened her margin of victory to 16 percentage points during her 2006 reelection and beat Republican nominee former Rep. Pete Hoekstra by 20 points in 2012.

Finally, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown came to the Senate after he won his election in 2006 by around 12 percentage points against Republican incumbent Mike DeWine. Brown’s race against Republican challenger Josh Mandel was much tighter six years later, when he won by only six percent of the vote.

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