C-SPAN’s coverage of the Senate floor debate yesterday included a helpful sidebar with a running tally of senators’ declared votes. Yesterday evening that tally showed 49 declared votes for Alito and 23 against, with seven Republicans still undeclared. The tally thus made clear to the casual viewer that Alito would almost certainly have the majority support needed for confirmation.
Today, for some reason, C-SPAN is no longer showing the sidebar. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation for the change. But I’d be willing to bet that opponents of Alito persuaded some allies within C-SPAN that the sidebar was harmful to their cause. That’s an illustration of the basic problem Alito’s attackers are facing: the facts just don’t help them.