One attorney who worked on both the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh nominations put it this way: “Needing a bare majority for confirmation, the president’s goal [would be] to pick a nominee who can gain the support of necessary moderate Republicans while exciting the rest of the party. The obvious question is what a nominee like Judge Amy Barrett would mean for those few moderate Republicans, and particularly for Senator Susan Collins, who is in cycle. It’s hard to imagine that Senator Collins would improve her prospects for re-election by opposing such a nominee, particularly after voting to confirm Justice Kavanaugh under extraordinary pressure not to do so.”

A senior attorney currently on the Senate Judiciary Committee put it more bluntly, “Republicans are ready to go to war with Democrats to confirm her.”