I’m moving my forecast up to 29% for two reasons.
First, there are reports that Sen. Grassley might receive a center-left challenge this fall, which could make his opposition to have a hearing on Garland a little uncomfortable[a]. In order to be able to tack to the center Grassley might (I repeat, might) want to give up on what appears to be his non-centrist opposition even to considering Garland’s nomination.
Second (and more importantly), Gov. Kasich’s has recently said that Senate Republicans who oppose even considering Garland’s nomination “probably ought to all sit down and meet with the guy”[b]. Public opinion is pretty strongly behind giving Garland a hearing and a vote this year[c]. Moreover, “[s]ome Republican voters, meanwhile, are disagreeing with GOP leaders on not considering Garland. In a Morning Consult poll released Friday, 43% of Republican voters said the Judiciary Committee should hold hearings. Thirty four percent said the committee should not”[d]. Kasich who is, of course, still in the running for the Republican Presidential nomination (and who is likely to be putting all of his eggs in his electability basket[e]) seems to want to avoid being weighted down with what appears to many as mere Senate obstructionism[f]. Running against Congressional Republicans: It’s not just for Democrats anymore! It will be interesting to see if any other Republican presidential candidates (or potential convention white knights) get on board with this.