If the new Senate Republicans had been sworn into office immediately following the election, would the New START treaty have been ratified? Would Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have been repealed?
Looking at the vote records, it appears that the New START treaty would not have been ratified, but the DADT repeal would have still passed the Senate, although its fate in the House is less certain.
START’s final vote was 71 to 26. Sixty-seven votes are required to ratify a treaty. So if five of the eight incoming Republicans were against ratification, the New START treaty would not have had enough votes. Of course, 13 Republicans did vote for New START, ten of whom who were not retiring, so perhaps fewer than five of the eight would have opposed it.
For the DADT repeal, the final vote tally was 65 – 31. The same six retiring Democrats that voted for the new START treaty voted for the repeal. On the GOP side, the only retiree that voted for it was Voinovich. So out of those seven senators, six will be succeeded by Republicans in the new session. Does that mean DADT would have been short a vote? No, because Specter’s successor, Republican Pat Toomey, had announced that he supported repealing DADT.