The bomb’s set to drop at 5:30 p.m. 60 votes or bust, right? Wrong: Sherrod Brown’s in Ohio for his mother’s funeral and will be flying in later, which is why Reid’s planning to hold the vote open for hours after it’s done. If they get to 59 at 5:30, Brown will make it official tonight; if, in a surprise show of backbone, one of the centrists defects and they land at 58, presumably there’ll be a mad scramble to fly Teddy in from Florida. He’s scheduled to miss the vote — for now.
Update: Because the vote’s being held open for Brown, we’re not going to get a final tally for hours yet. But Collins, Specter, and Snowe have all voted yes, and needless to say, no Democrat’s going to torpedo The One’s moment by switching. The deed is done.
Update: As of 6:20 p.m., there are 57 yes votes in the books with Bayh, Gillibrand, and of course Brown yet to show and add theirs. Done deal.