Five Senators remain on the fence; keep up the pressure
by Chris Thomas
As the Kavanaugh confirmation battle winds towards its conclusion (and it’s still unclear what that conclusion might be) it’s worth remembering that the votes your Senators make in the next few days are votes they’re making as your Representatives in Washington. Polling is well and good, but the gold standard of civic engagement on an issue is found in the efforts people make to contact their Senators and Representatives. Fortunately, Resistbot has this fantastic dataset to tell you all about it.
Senator Collins seems to be tilting towards yes despite the loud protests from her constituents. She’s suggested that she doesn’t believe that Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe v Wade (despite Trump literally promising that he’d appoint justices that would overturn Roe v Wade) and referred to the FBI’s short notice probe which did not include interviews with Dr. Ford or Mr. Kavanaugh as “very thorough.”
Since Kavanaugh’s nomination, Resistbot has delivered 9,485 messages from Maine residents, ~8,000 of them to Senator Collins. Nearly all of those reference Judge Kavanaugh. We covered letter volume to Collins last month; since then there’s been a major uptick. Roughly one third of the volume since July was delivered in the last 20 days.
Senator Murkowski remains similarly undecided on Judge Kavanaugh though she voted against ending debate on his nomination. Like Collins, she insists that she wants to preserve Roe v Wade and that she believes Kavanaugh will not vote to overturn it.
Resistbot delivered 6,285 letters from Alaska of which ~5,250 were routed to Lisa Murkowski.
Senator Manchin is a bit of a political unicorn. The Democrat from deep-red West Virginia is an outlier and his politics reflect that. Manchin’s vote to end debate on the Kavanaugh nomination almost certainly reflects a lot of internal polling on the issue and how his vote will move the needle on turnout in November.
Resistbot doesn’t do polling but it has delivered 5,853 letters from West Virginians since Kavanaugh’s nomination, ~4,725 of which were delivered to Senator Manchin.
You may not have heard much about Senator Gardner in the last few months but his vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation has been up in the air, at least officially speaking, since the start of this thing. Gardner consistently signals that he’s leaning towards confirmation but hasn’t stated publicly if he’s made up his mind.
Resistbot delivered 29,711 letters for Colorado residents and routed ~23,500 of them to Senator Gardner. If you have a look at the “most frequently used terms” chart, you’ll note that Gardner is the first on this list to see any issue other than Kavanaugh make the top 25 terms.
Were Joe Manchin not on this list, Mike Enzi would be the least likely Senator to remain on the fence. Enzi’s home state of Wyoming went 67% for Trump in 2016 and Enzi himself won’t face reelection until 2020. Still, Enzi remains officially undecided on Kavanaugh despite hits of support.
Given Enzi’s Republican credentials and the fact that he comes from a fairly rural, deeply red state, it is no surprise that he hasn’t gotten a lot of mail from Resisbot users. Even so, Mr. Kavanaugh remains the major concern of the 906 letters we delivered for Wyoming residents, of which ~700 were addressed to Senator Enzi.
It’s not too late
Todays cloture vote opens 30 hours of debate on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. You can still call or write your Senators right up until the end. Nothing is decided until the votes are actually cast. You can tell your Senators how you feel about that by sending the word Resist to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to make a difference.