Senate vote counts, no matter how good the source, are unreliable. At least that’s true when it comes to high profile issues like the Bolton nomination and the judicial filibusters. Moderate Sentors can tie themselves in knots over these kinds of matters, and that’s not even taking into account the lure of a Washington Post or New York Times puff piece.
That said, I’m in touch with a very good source who tells me that the vote count among Republicans on the filibusters is as follows:
Republicans who won’t vote with their party — Snowe, Chafee, McCain
Republicans who might not — Collins and Hagel
If true, this means that the Republicans have at least 50 and maybe as many as 52 votes. In other words, they win.
However, this assumes that Warner and Specter, as to whom there has been uncertainty, are committed to voting with their party (and, of course, that there are no other defections). I’m told that Warner and Specter are committed. As I said, though, no matter how reliable this information is, we cannot discount the unexpected.
UPDATE: I should add that with only 50 Senators in the “yes” column, and some of them unpredictable, one should not rule out the possibility of a deal, as bad an idea as that is.
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