The chances of Neil Gorsuch being confirmed by the Senate are getting better with two Democratic Senators declaring their support for him. Senators Heidi Heitkamp ( ND) and Sen. Joe Manchin ( D-W.V.) have both promised to vote for Gorsuch's confirmation.
Heitkamp issued a statement and said that she has come to her decision to vote for Gorsuch's confirmation after meeting with him, as well as reviewing his record and his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senator also praised Gorsuch for being balanced, meticulous and a well-respected jurist who understand the rule of law.
Earlier, Manchin became the first Democrat senator to publicly give his support to Gorsuch when he tweeted that he will vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the ninth justice of the Supreme Court.
Republicans need at least eight votes for Gorsuch from their Democrat counterparts or Independents in order to confirm him. If they don't get the needed additional votes, the Republicans have said they are willing to change the Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch with a simple majority.
It helps the Republicans' cause that both Manchin and Heitkamp are part of the 10 Democrats who are up for reelection next year in states that Trump won easily. The GOP is expected to target the seats of Manchin and Heigkamp.
In order for the Republicans to meet the 60-vote procedural hurdle and prevent the Democrats from filibuster, they will need six more voters for Gorsuch from the ranks of the Democrats or Independents. Senators Joe Donnelly and Claire McCaskill are under pressure to vote yes to Gorsuch's confirmation as well.
So far, according to the monitoring of The Hill, 39 Democrat Senators have already declared their opposition for Gorsuch. Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy and Ben Cardin have still not closed their doors on the possibility of voting in favor of Gorsuch. Another Democrat Senator, Michael Bennet, from Gorsuch's home state, has not announced his vote yet.
Gorsuch's nomination will be voted on Monday in the Senate Judiciary Committee and it is expected that he will get a full Senate vote on April 7.