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Odds Brett Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed as the Next Supreme Court Justice

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in Entertainment

Updated Apr 12, 2020 · 10:02 PM PDT

Brett Kavanaugh is Trump's second SCOTUS nominee. Will the Senate confirm him?
Brett Kavanaugh is Trump's second SCOTUS nominee. Will the Senate confirm him? Photo by Official White House (Wikimedia) [CC License]
  • Brett Kavanaugh was expected to have an easy time being confirmed to the Supreme Court
  • But now there’s a real possibility he’ll be rejected by the Senate
  • Two women have come forward accusing the Judge of sexual assault 

It wasn’t meant to be this difficult.

The Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate, meaning they can confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court without the help of a single Democrat. But it turns out Kavanaugh carries more baggage than American Airlines, and even a recent Fox News poll found that a majority of voters disapprove of Trump’s latest SCOTUS pick.

Kavanaugh’s situation is worsening and we can be sure that new dirt will surface before the Senate convenes to vote. What seemed to be a certainty just a few weeks ago is now in serious doubt. Here are the latest odds:

Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court Confirmation Odds

How Will the Following Senator Vote to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh? Yes No
Susan Collins (R-Maine) -200 +160
Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) EVEN -140
Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) -300 +240
Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) -300 +240

First of all, let’s quickly dismiss Rand Paul and Jeff Flake. Both senators like to make a lot of noise, but they almost always toe the party line when it comes time to vote on something significant. Flake has voted in line with Trump 83.6% of the time, while Rand Paul stands at 74.3%. They’re all bark and no bite. When it really matters, they’re a reliable vote for the Trump and Mitch McConnell.

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Susan Collins is the Republican to watch. As a pro-choice Senator, she’s always been a little iffy on Kavanaugh, and there’s a campaign that will fund Collins’ Democratic opponent if she votes yes. So far, contributors have already raised $1.5 million that will kick in the moment she votes to confirm. Collins was “appalled” by Trump’s tweet attacking Kavanaugh’s accuser, and claims that it would be “disqualifying” if it turns out that Kavanaugh lied about committing sexual assault. Of all the Republicans, she’s perhaps the most likely to vote against Kavanaugh.

Joe Manchin was one of just three Democrats who voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, and he’s one of the red-state Democrats being pressured to vote for Kavanaugh. West Virginia voted for Trump by a wide margin in 2016, and Manchin will soon have to face an electorate that remains very pro-Trump. The sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh may be a bridge too far for the Democratic Senator, though. Gorsuch was deeply unpopular with Democrats, but at least his image was squeaky clean.

Betting Advice for How Each Senator Will Vote

  • Susan Collins: No (+160)
  • Joe Manchin: No (-140)
  • Rand Paul: Yes (-300)
  • Jeff: Yes (-300)

Odds on the Number of Yes Votes Cast for Brett Kavanaugh in the Senate

How Many Yes Votes Will Be Cast for Brett Kavanaugh in the Senate? Odds
55 or more +2000
54 +800
53 +800
52 +375
51 +225
50 +1250
49 or Less +195

49 or Less is the favorite, but I would avoid that pick. If it seems Kavanaugh doesn’t end up having the votes, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley will probably try to pull the candidate rather than undergo the humiliation of a failed vote. Who knows, Kavanaugh may even withdraw if things get any worse for him.

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A 50-50 split in the Senate is pretty rare, but Vice President Mike Pence has already been called to act as the tiebreaker on several occasions. With a 51-49 breakdown, we would have an even split if every Democrat opposes Kavanaugh and a single Republican (say, Susan Collins) breaks with the party.

It’s an unlikely outcome because no Republican will not want their entire party blaming them for Kavanaugh’s failed nomination. But at +1250 odds, it’s worth sprinkling a few pennies on a 50-50 vote.

Pick: 50 (+1250)

Odds Brett Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed as the Next Supreme Court Justice

Will Brett Kavanaugh Be Confirmed as the Next Supreme Court Justice? Odds
Yes -250
No +195

*Odds have changed to YES (+105) and NO (-135)

Kavanaugh is being accused of attempted rape from when he was a teenager, and his accuser is expected to testify this week. Now a second accuser claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when he was at Yale. Kavanaugh denies everything and swore under oath that he had never committed sexual assault as an adult. But it’s now he said, she said, she said.

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He’s already one of the most unpopular Supreme Court nominees in history, and his numbers could sink even lower after he and his accuser testify in front of the Senate this week. Kavanaugh fumbled his way through his Senate hearings earlier this month, and that was before any of the accusations came to light. So chances are he won’t come off too well.

The Senate Democrats appear united against Kavanaugh and only two Republicans need to defect in order to sink the nomination. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are the most likely “No” voters, and there are a number of other Republicans who may be hesitant to grant a lifetime SCOTUS appointment to a man accused of sexual assault.

A lot more could emerge between now and the Senate vote. There are rumors of a gambling habit, he may have lied to the Senate back in 2006, and he allegedly seeks female clerks who “look like models.”

Things are already looking pretty bad, and they’re about to get worse. Take a chance and pick No (+195).

Pick: No (+195)

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