Going into the announcement Monday, sources close to Trump say Kavanaugh is still the front runner to become the next member of the Supreme Court, but that Hardiman’s stock has risen in recent days.
NBC News reported on Sunday that Trump is focusing mostly on Kavanaugh and Hardiman.
CNBC previously reported that the president had suggested to a small group he had already settled on who he wants to see succeed Kennedy. At the time, he indicated he was in favor of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, sources insisted he could always change his mind.
The group, she added, plans to target individual states, while paying particularly close attention to the actions of Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Doug Jones of Alabama. All of them represent states Trump won in 2016.
” We expect all Republicans to be on board at this time,” Montgomery said. “Should that change, we will assess but also recognize that we may need to defend those who will be under attack from the radical left.”
With the exception of Jones, all of the potential targets are fighting for re-election in the 2018 midterm elections. Jones, who won a shocking December special election victory to flip Jeff Sessions’ Alabama seat blue, is up for re-election in 2020.
Trump plans to announce his nominee at 9 p.m. ET on Monday.
For America First, all options are on the table to push Trump’s nominee through the Senate, including television, radio, digital and phone ads.
A pro-Trump organization is getting ready to go to war in support of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, with a plan targeting Democratic senators in red states.
The White House did not return requests for comment at the time of publication.
CNBC reported a week ago that America First Action was planning to “encourage” Democratic senators to back Trump’s nominee.
Republican lawmakers could also see their names included in the America First Policies ads.
America First Policies is preparing to unveil a seven-figure ad campaign to back Trump’s choice, whoever it is, to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, according to Erin Montgomery, the group’s spokeswoman.
Over the July 4 weekend the president was reportedly lobbied by the likes of Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to pick third circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman.