How a 51-49 Senate could change everything

Say goodbye to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: In a Senate divided 51-49 between the two parties instead of 52-48, the two “no” votes from Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski would have been enough to tank DeVos’s nomination in February. Pence would have never been called in to break the tie.

A procedural vote in July that brought Republicans to the cusp of passing legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare — and set the stage for Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s dramatic late-night “no” vote that ultimately tanked the bill — would have failed too, by a slim 49-51 margin.

A bill that allowed states to withhold federal dollars from organizations like Planned Parenthood also would have failed — on a procedural vote and the final passage.