Betsy DeVos during her senate hearing
etsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos's chances of having her position confirmed are hanging by a single senator, after two Republican senators announced to Congress that they would vote against her.

Out of all the resistance to US President Donald Trump's cabinet picks, DeVos has garnered particular acrimony. With no Democrats expected to support her, DeVos' votes are now split. In the event of a tie, Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as president of the senate, casts the deciding ballot — pushing the ayes in favour of DeVos.

But if one more Republican were to cross the aisle, DeVos would be struck down, and that is what Democrats are hoping for.

Across the country, reports say that senators are being inundated with calls from constituents against DeVos.

The Michigan Billionaire's hearing in front of the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ended with a barrage of viral videos showing DeVos continuing to smile while Democrat senators hit her with questions she seemed unable to answer.

When asked whether guns belong in schools, DeVos said that they might be needed "to protect from potential grizzlies", citing a Wyoming school with a fence against bears. That answer led to a round of mockery on social media.

DeVos also seemed unsure about a question from Senator Al Franken on whether she supported testing by proficiency or growth: "This is a subject that has been debated in the education community for years," he said. "It surprises me that you don't know this issue."

Alongside those, former Democrat presidential nominee Bernie Sanders went after her wealth: "Do you think if you were not a multi-billionaire, if your family had not made hundreds of thousands of dollars of contributions to the Republican party, that you would be sitting here today?" he asked, after saying he'd heard her family had donated over $200m ($250m).

The movement against DeVos coincides with growing calls amongst the Democrat base to block Trump at every opportunity.

At candidate forums for the head of the Democratic National Committee, all have said that Trump should not be worked with. Former Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, has consistently repeated a call along the debate trail to "treat Trump like Mitch McConnell treated Obama," referencing the tough time the former president faced with a majority Republican Senate.

On Wednesday (1 February), two GOP Senators came forward to say they would not be voting for DeVos. Senator Susan Collins of Maine said it was "a very difficult decision" but that DeVos' "lack of familiarity" with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ultimately forced her to withdraw support.

Next, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said that part of her decision to vote against party lines was the "thousands, truly thousands" of her constituents who called in with concerns about DeVos becoming education secretary. And she's not the only one.

Republicans have pushed back the vote from Friday (3 February), to Monday (6 February), citing an "attendance issue" that some have suggested stems from a weekend fundraising retreat a few GOP senators are attending.

In North Carolina, a state with two senate Republicans, the Raleigh News Observer reported that all of their offices were being jammed with calls — the offices of Senator Richard Burr did not answer calls and voicemail boxes were full.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran previously sent out a tweet asking people to email if they could not get through "due to high call volumes".

There is no suggestion that the coming weekend will see the flow of calls slow down.

In Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Democrat Senator Bill Nelson had received 2,000 calls by Wednesday afternoon, the majority against DeVos. The paper suggested that the state's Republican senator, Marco Rubio, previously a rival of Trump's for the Republican presidential nomination, has received even more calls, with voicemail boxes in multiple offices full and calls going unanswered.

Some have suggested that a planned campaign by Democrats explains why the senators are receiving the calls, but Democrats themselves have mentioned a few names as a potential turncoats - and it's none of the above.

The real coordinated pressure has been aimed at Pennsylvania Senator, Pat Toomey. The Huffington Post called all eight of Toomey's offices and were met with busy signals or full voicemails across the board.

The Reno Gazette-Journal said that a number of Nevada Senator Dean Heller's constituent's had been unable to get through to his offices. Heller tweeted that they were "experiencing heavy call volumes" in all offices. The former Deputy Chief of Staff to Harry Reid, Adam Jentleson called out for people to call or even fax Heller, calling him "the deciding vote on DeVos' nomination".

Democrats are already starting to take their positions for the next four years of battling the new administration. After the confirmation of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state went through with the most votes against in senate history; DeVos's confirmation is the next battleground.

Only nine cabinet picks have ever been rejected by the senate, the last was in 1989. With one more vote hanging in the balance, DeVos becomes the 10th.