Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) on Tuesday became the first Republican to indicate he would vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.

Democrats appear to be lining up behind Hagel's confirmation, but so far six Repulicans have said they will vote against Obama's pick.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday he was prepared to place a hold on Hagel's nomination until Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies on the Benghazi attacks. With Democrats holding 55 Senate seats, at least four more Republicans would need to join Cochran to eliminate the threat of a filibuster on Hagel's nomination.

Hagel's first confirmation hearing will be Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.