Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

13 Undecided Democrats To Watch on the Iran Deal

Thirteen Democratic senators. That is all President Obama needs to ensure that the nuclear deal with Iran does not get derailed by Congress. And the battle over the votes of these 13 Democrats is about to overwhelm Capitol Hill.

The math is simple. With Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate, Congress is likely to reject the Iran deal. Not one Republican has expressed support for the deal.

But that is only the first round. Obama has already made clear his intention to veto any legislation rejecting the Iran deal. If that happens, Republican leaders will have to come up with a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override Obama’s veto.

Most analysts focus on the Senate, where Republicans are expected to have a tougher time getting this super-majority. There are currently 54 GOP senators, so Republicans will need 13 Democrats to cross party lines and vote against the deal to reach the 67 votes required for an override.

Political analysts have identified between 14 and 28 Democratic senators in the undecided column. These include security hawks such as Virginia’s Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, or Michigan’s Gary Peters, as well as others who have been skeptical about Iran’s intentions from the get-go, and several senators with significant Jewish constituencies, including Florida’s Ben Nelson, Cory Booker of New Jersey and New York’s Chuck Schumer, who is currently viewed as the biggest prize on the Senate floor. Advocates believe that Schumer’s decision, thanks to his senior position in the Democratic Party (he is slated to take over as majority leader next year) and to his standing in the Jewish community, could play a significant role in influencing other undecided Democrats.

Based on press reports and interviews, the Forward compiled a list of 13 undecided Democrats most worth watching in the upcoming weeks. None of them has given any hint about his or her vote, and all stressed, in statements, that they would decide only after careful review of the agreement. We’ll be watching.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.