President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran continued to pick up crucial support from swing-state Senate Democrats on Thursday, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The latest Democrat to declare her backing for the deal became Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
"This deal isn't perfect and no one trusts Iran, but it has become clear to me that the world is united behind this agreement with the exception of the government of Israel," she claimed in a statement quoted by AP.
McCaskill's announcement followed a similar declaration a day earlier from Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who said, "I am willing to give this agreement the opportunity to succeed."
Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts also declared support on Wednesday, saying he believed "that if strictly implemented, this plan can be effective".
Their support brings to 26 the number of Senate Democrats who have come out in favor of the agreement. Supporters now include 10 of the 12 members on the Democratic side of the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to AP.
With majority Republicans unanimously opposed, Obama needs 34 Senate Democrats to sustain his veto of a resolution disapproving the deal. The disapproval measure may pass next month. With only two Senate Democrats opposed so far that number is increasingly looking within reach, and supporters could even potentially secure the 41 votes that would block the resolution from passing in the first place.
So far, just two Democrats have announced they would vote against the deal – Chuck Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey,who announced his decision to vote against the deal on Tuesday.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been holding off on announcing his stance on the deal, after indicating he intends to talk with influential Jewish backers before deciding.
Reid is among seven Democrat senators listed by The Hill as "leaning" toward supporting the Iran deal, but it is possible that in talks with the prominent Jewish backers he could be convinced to oppose the deal, a move which would have great impact given his prominent position.
The dynamic is similar in the House, where Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told AP this week that Democrats will back up Obama if he's forced to veto a disapproval resolution.
"We will sustain the veto," she said. Doing so would require 146 Democrats. The number of publicly declared supporters neared 60 Thursday as Reps. Mike Honda of California and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut came out in favor.