Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, may fall short of the votes needed for smooth passage in the Senate next week, potentially dashing Republican hopes for an easy victory after the stinging defeat of the American Health Care Act last week.

Gorsuch needs 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle required of high-court confirmations in the Senate, but Republicans, who hold just 52 seats, may not have the votes in a chamber that is divided deeply along partisan lines.

Republicans do, however, have the votes to choose the “nuclear option” — to change the rules and allow Gorsuch’s confirmation — and others after it — to proceed on a simple majority vote. That would upend a long-standing Senate tradition that forces the governing party to seek bipartisan support.