Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), another potential swing vote in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, strongly signaled a "Yes" vote on Wednesday when he announced his reviewing process.
According to Manchin, he will base his vote on Kavanaugh's life from age 22-53, not his life in high school, which Democrats have increasingly scrutinized in the past weeks amid allegations from Christine Blasey Ford that the SCOTUS nominee sexually assaulted her at a pool party 36 years ago.
"I am looking at the gentleman as an adult from 22 to 53, thirty-one years of professional service,” Manchin told Al-Jazeera. "I am looking at him as a father. As a person in a community, how he interacts with his community. I am trying to put the human side to it."
Should Manchin vote "No" on Kavanaugh, he will severely anger his West Virginia constituents, who favor his confirmation to the Supreme Court by an overwhelming majority — a healthy 58%.
A "No" vote from Manchin would also contradict previous statements made by the senator, who said he would not allow Ford's allegations to exclude Kavanaugh from the nomination process so long as they remained unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.
In the next few days, Kavanaugh supporters should look for key signs from the swing votes: 1) Are they satisfied with the FBI investigation? 2) Are they milquetoast about Ford's claims? 3) Are they avoiding condemnations of Kavanaugh?
If all three of those answers are yes, then the senator will be voting "Yes" for Kavanaugh's confirmation, in all likelihood.