Manchin is still a hold-out:
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) announced Monday that he now backs gay marriage, becoming the latest in a wave of Senate Democrats lining up to express their support.
“After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation,” Johnson said in a statement. “This position doesn’t require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom.”
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who both hail from deeply red states, announced their support for gay marriage last Friday. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) threw his support behind marriage equality on Thursday, and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) endorsed it on Tuesday.
Only three remaining Democratic senators have not publicly backed gay marriage: Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Landrieu and Pryor face reelection in 2014 in Southern red states. Manchin, like Donnelly and Heitkamp, is not up for reelection until 2018.
I would be shocked if he ever comes out one way or another. Remember, he had to go on a listening tour of the state to learn what West Virginian’s felt about ending DADT, and he had been Governor for quite some time and probably had a pretty firm grasp of what West Virginian’s thought about ending DADT– they were agin’ it, so Joe skipped the vote. I’m not sure if he needs a listening tour to find out what we all think about gay marriage (pro-tip- they are really against it), but I am pretty sure I know what he is thinking- “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET THIS ISSUE GO AWAY SO I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE A POSITION.”
I’d be absolutely shocked if he even mentions the issue publicly unless cornered, and then he’ll break out this top hat and cane and tried to tap dance through the minefield.