Throughout the last year, it has been very difficult to nail down how many Senators are opposed to ratification of New START. Too many Senate Republicans have kept their powder dry as they deferred to Senator Jon Kyl to negotiate on their behalf. This has been a fundamental mistake, because it has precluded the opponents of the treaty from winning the public debate based on its flaws.
Thankfully, we now have some semblance of a whip list to work off over the next week or so. Senators John Ensign, Kit Bond, and Jim DeMint have circulated a letter with 22 signatures (including their own) that basically amounts to a public hold letter, objecting to any unanimous consent agreement in the Senate to expedite ratification. The letter can be found here.
There are 42 Republican Senators in the lame duck. New START needs 67 votes to be ratified. If all 58 Democrat votes stick together, the Obama Administration needs 9 Republican votes. Below the fold is the universe of Senate Republicans who have not signed the Ensign-Bond-DeMint hold letter and need to be nailed down between now and next week. Here is the main number for the Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121. Call away!
Lamar Alexander (TN), Republican Conference Chairman
Robert Bennett (UT)
Scott Brown (MA)
Saxby Chambliss (GA)
Thad Cochran (MS)
Susan Collins (ME)
Bob Corker (TN), voted for the treaty out of committee
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Judd Gregg (NH)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Johnny Isakson (GA), voted for the treaty out of committee
Mark Kirk (IL)
Jon Kyl (AZ), Republican Whip
George LeMieux (FL)
Richard Lugar (IN), voted for treaty out of committee and a main proponent
John McCain (AZ)
Mitch McConnell (KY), Republican Leader
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
George Voinovich (OH)
It is also worth calling some of the Democrats. Ben Nelson (NE) supports ratification, but has said that START can wait until next year. Kent Conrad (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), and Jon Tester (MT), must all face the voters within two years and should hear from their constituents.