With Mark Kirk's swearing-in last week, Republicans now have 42 seats in the Senate, so Democrats need two GOP votes to break any filibuster (at least for the next few weeks). But if Brown is willing to buck his party, it could be a sign that the chamber's few other moderate Republicans -- essentially, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and maybe Richard Lugar and the retiring George Voinovich -- are willing to cross over, too. ... And even if a few of those Republicans do end up voting to kill a filibuster, there's still the matter of conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson and Joe Manchin (both of whom will face reelection in GOP-friendly states in 2012) and Mark Pryor and and Blanche Lincoln; some or all of them could conceivably side with the GOP.
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