In regards to the recent SCOTUS vacancy due to the loss of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I see countless articles stating things like (paraphrasing)

  • "These 6 GOP senators are most likely to vote against a nomination..."
  • "Collins, Murkowski first 2 GOP senators to side with Dems"

Likewise, during the Trump Impeachment trial there were similar articles and media sources all talking about which GOP senators will break from the pack. (Romney and Collins)

My question here is why I don't see any Democrat senators siding with the Republicans... Specifically, when was the last time a Democratic Senator voted on the Republican side?

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    Several Democrats voted with the Republican position literally today: senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/… . Are you so sure this is as rare an occurrence as you have stated?
    – Michael W.
    Sep 22, 2020 at 19:11
  • @MichaelW. I suppose I should have done more research. I left a comment below on my thoughts regarding recent events. Thanks for the link!
    – Sumner18
    Sep 22, 2020 at 19:53
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    I’m voting to close this question because information would rapidly go out of date and is available from other sources.
    – Jontia
    Sep 23, 2020 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


It happens all the time, though less so recently. If we assume you're only talking only about the Supreme Court, 1 Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin voted to confirm Kavanaugh, while 3 Democrats, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly, voted to confirm Gorsuch

  • I stand corrected. I suppose I should have done a little more research. Recent events have made me believe Republicans are more willing to side with Democrats than vice versa.
    – Sumner18
    Sep 22, 2020 at 19:50
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    @Sumner18 That may be true as well. Because of how close the dividing line is in the Senate, Republicans that threaten to vote with the Dems have a tremendous amount of leverage that they can turn in to concessions from the majority in order to vote with their party. They do have to be cautious on which topics they pick, of course, so that they don't risk alienating their constituents, but if they can nitpick some small item that they can pretend is a hill they are happy to die on, they can potentially get the majority to blink, and change budgets or other legislation to their favor.
    – cpcodes
    Sep 22, 2020 at 22:33
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    Note that all three senators mentioned are/were from fairly Republican states (ND for Heitkamp, WV for Manchin, IN for Donnelly), so it seems likely that their votes were at least partially motivated by what their constituents wanted. Further, Heitkamp & Donnelly were voted out of office in 2018 (Manchin wasn't up for election that year), which illustrates that breaking with your party can only help you so much... Sep 23, 2020 at 13:11

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