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New poll: Republicans likely to keep control of Senate, a plus for future Trump SCOTUS picks

Many conservatives are disappointed that President Donald Trump did not nominate Amy Coney Barrett or Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to the Supreme Court, but there is some hope for those holding out for a third SCOTUS vacancy for Trump to fill with a conservative. A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll shows that Republicans are likely to keep control of the Senate in 2018, which would ensure that  Trump's judicial nominees continue to sail through Senate confirmation.

Axios has characterized the poll as "brutal" for Democrats.

The poll shows that Democrats in three states — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, and Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana — are "poised to lose" to their respective Republican challengers. The poll is not all good news for Republicans, however. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and each of the three Republican candidates for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., are trailing their potential Democratic rivals.

If these poll numbers hold, Republicans would lose two seats and gain three more, a net increase of one seat, giving the GOP a 52-48 majority in the Senate (including the two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats).

That's not much, but with only 51 votes needed to confirm a judicial nominee, even a Supreme Court nominee, President Trump will be able to continue to nominate constitutionalists to the courts and see them confirmed.

Is it likely that Trump will get to nominate another Supreme Court justice? There are two aging liberals on the court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 years old but shows no signs of retiring while a Republican is president. Stephen Breyer is 79, but he also is showing no signs of retiring.

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