Asked whether that means she’s a “no” on Barrett’s votes that begin on Sunday, she replied: “That means I haven’t changed my mind on that.”
Murkowski is the only undecided Republican at this point on Barrett’s nomination. Fellow moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is a “no”; the rest of the party’s 51 members will back the conservative judge. Only a simple majority is needed to confirm a Supreme Court nominee.
If Murkowski votes “no,” she’s likely to spark a new wave of attacks from President Donald Trump, similar to his reaction when she voted against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Already Trump has attacked Collins, who is in the middle a tough reelection fight.
Murkowski is up for reelection in 2022 and has shown durability among her independent-minded Alaska voters as her party turns right. She lost her primary in 2010 but kept her seat through a write-in campaign.