Mario NicolaisMario NicolaisNovember 30, 20165min385

Earlier this year, I compared the Republican Supreme Court challenge to playing poker. With President Obama nominating Merrick Garland for the vacant seat left after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the GOP-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings, much less a vote. Republicans were betting on a winning back the Oval Office and maintaining control of the Senate. Even the day before Election Day, that strategy seemed to be the longest of odds. With polls showing Hillary Clinton with commanding leads — including in the Electoral College — and Democrats poised to pick up enough Senate seats to gain either a 50-50 split or even an outright majority, Republicans seemed to be drawing dead. Democrats had a strong made hand; let’s call it a straight flush. In contrast, Republicans needed to pull not just one miracle draw card, but two.