Let’s face it: the folks chanting “Fill that seat!” behind Trump at his rallies and across the nation are going to vote for him even if he doesn’t announce his Supreme Court nominee before the election. They want Trump to be re-elected, and they want that seat. Neither of those things is going to change between now and the election.
This blatant disregard for what should be a tremendous re-election advantage is dripping with hubris and is potentially catastrophically short-sighted for those who wish to see Trump remain in power.
Sure, they might be slightly disappointed if he doesn’t offer his nomination toward the end of this week as promised, but if they weren’t fed up with Trump inconsistencies up to this point, this isn’t going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Even if they wanted to hold it against him, they’d still have to support him at the polls or risk losing both the presidency and the seat. They’d still be faced with an “all or nothing” choice in which they find the “all” completely desirable.
So, those votes wouldn’t be going anywhere if he didn’t make the selection before the election. On the reciprocal side, there’s the entrenched opposition. They don’t want Trump re-elected, and they don’t want to lose the seat. There’s not much they can do about when the SCOTUS nomination is made, and they’re going to vote against Trump in the election either way. The timing of the SCOTUS nomination will have no real effect on how these two groups, in general, cast their POTUS election votes.
However, those aren’t the only two groups voting, and they shouldn’t be the only two groups considered by the Trump camp when deciding when to announce the SCOTUS nomination. No candidate has ever had, ever has, or will ever have the total support of either every conservative or every liberal. The spectrum is too broad; every stance on every issue sees some potential backers edged off the cliffs of support.