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NRA Pressure on Sotomayor Vote Appears Ineffective

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) apparent ploy to enhance party discipline and pressure moderate Democrats on next week’s vote on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is not working as planned, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Though McConnell reportedly pressured the National Rifle Association to factor the vote into its ratings of Senators’ loyalty to Second Amendment rights, centrist Democrats do not appear to be swayed, and even some members of McConnell’s leadership team have since said they would vote for her.

National Public Radio was the first to report McConnell’s involvement in convincing the NRA to score the Sotomayor vote.

Sotomayor is not expected to have trouble getting confirmed, but GOP leaders have been attempting to keep her winning margin to less than that of former President George W. Bush’s nominees.

But already, Senate GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) has committed to voting for Sotomayor, as has one of the most conservative Democrats, Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.). Both have high ratings from the NRA, according to the AP.

When the AP asked whether he was worried about harming his perfect NRA score by voting for Sotomayor’s confirmation, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said, “I’d probably have a good rating regardless.”