The three Republican senator’s that have given Donald Trump opposition over the last two years won’t be there come January…..
Bear in mind that GOP Senator’s that initially give Trump a hard time, and are still in office, end up voting with what their party leader wants mostly, when put on the spot…
So who will emerge as the key swing votes in the Senate? Among sitting members,1 our [FiveThirtyEight] Trump score suggests that Kentucky’s Rand Paul is actually the most anti-Trump Republican in the chamber, opposing Trump initiatives about 25 percent of the time. Then, aside from Collins and Murkowski, Utah’s Mike Lee and Nebraska’s Ben Sasse have broken with Trump the next most often among returning GOP senators. (Note that while our metric is called the “Trump score,” the president’s position on issues that come up for votes in the Senate nearly always aligns with the position supported by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP leadership.)
But when I looked at the times Lee, Paul and Sasse voted against the Trump position, it was often on spending bills that overwhelmingly passed the Senate. In those cases, their opposition was basically meaningless. It allows them to claim that they are the among the most fiscally conservative Republicans in Washington, but it doesn’t actually stall legislation and potentially annoy McConnell or Trump.
Romney, I think, might be willing to vote against Trump’s positions on big issues. He has considerably backtracked from a 2016 speech in which he attacked Trump more harshly than even many Democrats did back then, but the Utah senator-elect is still putting distance between himself and the president….