Here are some numbers to keep in mind as you watch what happens next:
51: The number of Senate votes that will be needed to approve Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Senate Republicans changed the rules several years ago, eliminating a 60-vote threshold that required bipartisan approval to get a justice on the court. Both parties had a hand in reaching that point.
53: The number of Republicans in the Senate right now, which means …
Three: The number of defectors Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can afford to lose and still get Trump’s nominee on the court. (Republicans have a three-seat majority. We don’t expect any of the 47 senators who caucus with Democrats to cross parties and vote for this, and Vice President Pence can cast the tie-breaking vote if it gets close.)
Two: The number of defections Republicans already have. During the weekend, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), a moderate who voted against Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2018, and Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), another moderate who is in a tough reelection fight in a Democratic-leaning state, opposed voting on a nomination before the election. Four are needed, and as of Tuesday, it doesnt look like any will join Collins and Murkowski.
Nearing 51: The number of Republican senators needed to be board with moving forward with a Supreme Court nomination keeps inching closer to this magic number. Not all have come out and said they’ll support an election-year nomination, according to a Washington Post tally. But three potential defectors -- Mitt Romney of Utah, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Cory Gardner of Colorado -- have. There could still be surprises, but things are moving in the right direction for McConnell.
70: The average number of days it has taken to fill past Supreme Court vacancies.
42: The number of days until Election Day, as of Tuesday. We expect Trump to nominate someone this week. Senate Republicans could start holding hearings in the next few weeks and then finish after the November election. That means it’s possible both Trump and Senate Republicans will have lost their majority, but not their ability to fill this vacancy before the next presidential inauguration January.