The pretzels into which Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is willing to tie herself to justify voting for what she very well knows is going to be an anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee are legion. They include flat-out lying. Collins appeared on The New York Times "The Daily" podcast Monday, talking about the next Supreme Court Justice and her mythical commitment to women's health. That's part of the lie, but here's the big one. The one that tells you she's already justifying her likely vote. She told host Michael Barbaro that the public is split "51-49" on overturning Roe v. Wade.
The public hasn't been split in half on abortion in the more than 40 years that Gallup has been polling on it. On this specific question of Roe, just last week KFF found the split was 67-29 in favor of Roe staying the law of the land. And that was before the Supreme Court threat. The same day as this podcast, Quinnipiac released a similar poll, with the split 63-31 in favor of the law.
A "pro-choice" Republican senator would know that. She'd have those poll numbers burned into memory (and since they're so consistent, it wouldn't be hard) to justify bucking her party on the issue. To say she's in step with the large majority of the American people. Notably, Barbaro and the Times issued a correction, pointing out these polls. Collins as of yet has not.
If Collins wants to continue the pretense of being "pro-choice"—and keep her job—she has one option: opposing any nominee that comes from Donald Trump's pre-approved, Federalist Society list.
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