At this point, with Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) defecting, the Democrats are under intense pressure to give Alito no fewer than 60 votes.
Sound crazy? Just think what the Daily Kos crowd will say when the Dems fail to filibuster Alito, despite having 41 votes with which to do so.
I interpret John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) call for a filibuster, just now, as a sign that they are already planning to throw the game and give 60 votes.
Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and/or Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) will probably vote for Alito, giving him 60 or 61 votes.