Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is under pressure now that Brett Kavanaugh has spoken in his own defense, leaving the Senator with the choice of voting for a SCOTUS nominee who will defend West Virginian’s gun rights or ignoring West Virginians to stand with California liberals.
Making the pressure even greater is the fact that President Trump will be holding a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia on Saturday. West Virginians voted for pro-gun Trump over anti-gun Hillary Clinton by a percentage of roughly 70 to 30, which means the residents of the state have already chosen protection of the Second Amendment over liberalism.
Moreover, Manchin is in a tough race. His pro-gun opponent, Patrick Morrisey, is tied with him in polls and Morrisey has not been shy about pointing out the fact that Manchin has been rejected by the NRA.
Manchin’s NRA rating is a D.
Manchin came into office via a 2010 special election. He campaigned as defender of West Virginia gun rights only to become one of the Democrats’ staunchest gun control proponents in late 2012. Following the December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary, Manchin had garnered enough favor with Barack Obama that PBS reported he was chosen as gun control point man for Obama’s White House.
Although the Sandy Hook attack was carried out with stolen firearms, Manchin’s response was more background checks for retail sales. Making matters worse, Manchin admitted his gun controls would not have prevented Sandy Hook from occurring in the first place, yet he was willing to spend all his political capital to secure it.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.