Grassley: Gorsuch will fall short of 60 votes
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate panel moving ahead with Mueller bill despite McConnell opposition Republicans refuse to back opioids bill sponsored by vulnerable Dem Pavlich: When will McCabe face prosecution for lying? MORE (R-Iowa) predicted on Thursday that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will fall short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster.  

Asked how he was feeling about Gorsuch's nomination ahead of next week's vote, the Judiciary Committee chairman told reporters that President Trump's pick "gets 57 or 58 votes." 
 
Asked if his estimation was based on conversations with Democrats, Grassley replied, "No, but other people have, and I've heard what over people say. But it's kind of a gut feeling that's based on the proposition that some people up for reelection cannot justify such a well-qualified person not getting on the Supreme Court."
 
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Gorsuch will need 60 votes, including the support of at least eight Democratic senators, to overcome an initial procedural hurdle for his nomination. Republicans have signaled they are willing to go "nuclear" and change the Senate rules if Democrats block his nomination. 
 
 
The two are among a group of 10 Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018 in states won by Trump who are facing a mountain of pressure from both sides in the Supreme Court fight. 
 
Red-state Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillSenate blocks bill that opponents say weakens water pollution rules Senate GOP wary of new tax cut sequel GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems MORE (Mo.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySenate blocks bill that opponents say weakens water pollution rules Senate GOP wary of new tax cut sequel GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems MORE (Ind.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenators grill alleged robocall kingpin GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems Overnight Health Care: Rep. Debbie Dingell on the pain and tragedy of the opioids crisis | DEA moves to curb opioid oversupply | Dem says Trump pick opposes VA privatization MORE (Mont.), who are also up for reelection next year, are thus far undecided on Gorsuch's nomination. 
 
 
Grassley's committee is scheduled to vote on Gorsuch's nomination on Monday with a full Senate vote expected on Friday.