Why Arizona's Senate Election Could Be Crucial to SCOTUS Fight

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Posted: Sep 22, 2020 8:25 AM
Why Arizona's Senate Election Could Be Crucial to SCOTUS Fight

Source: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

The good news heading into the battle over the vacant SCOTUS seat is that Sen. Lindsey Graham assured Republicans the upper chamber has the votes to confirm President Trump’s nominee before the election. That better be the case, because otherwise former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy warned Monday the special election in Arizona could throw a wrench in Republicans’ plans.

"There's a 53-47 Republican edge right now [in the Senate], but that may not last for very long after the election," McCarthy told Fox News’s Bill Hemmer, noting that Arizona’s Senate election is a special election. 

The winner of the McSally-Kelly race will serve out the term of the late Sen. John McCain, who died in August 2018 after being reelected two years earlier. McSally was appointed to the Senate by Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey at the start of 2019 after former GOP Sen. John Kyl took McCain's place and served out the remainder of 2018 before resigning. (Fox News)

“If Mark Kelly defeats Martha McSally, he could be a senator on November 30, which means the 53-47 edge during a lame duck [session] very quickly becomes 52-48,” he continued. "And then, if you consider all of the different challenges that are likely to happen after the election in terms of the mail-in balloting, which is kind of going to be unprecedented in the degree that we're going to have in this election, I think that really shortens the period of time that the Republicans have the kind of edge that they have now, which is narrow enough as it is.”

According to the RealClearPolitics' average of polling, Kelly is up 6.7 percentage points in the race, but RCP is still ranking it a toss-up.

McCarthy is right though—Republicans’ best chance of getting Trump’s SCOTUS pick confirmed is if it happens prior to Election Day. Right now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs 50 Republican senators and things are looking in his favor.

Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are "no" and RINO Sen. Mitt Romney is anyone's guess, but Sen. Cory Gardner, despite being in a tough reelection campaign, is doing the right thing, as is Sen. Lamar Alexander.