Obama sends vulnerable Democrats into wild scramble

Just as President Obama’s unpopular push for healthcare reform chucked dozens of Democrats on the funeral pyre of their House majority, his latest endorsement of gay marriage has forced several Senators to walk a tightrope. Instead of a safety net at the bottom, they’ll be falling to electoral defeat. Here are the Senators wobbling in this high wire act:

Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.), the two most vulnerable Democratic senators, have declined to endorse Obama’s call for the legalization of gay marriage.

Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.), Democrats who have easier races but in states that could become more competitive by November, have also backed away from Obama’s stance.

They all represent states with constitutional amendments or laws banning same-sex marriage.

And it certainly doesn’t help that Senator Reid is jostling the rope:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted Thursday the Democratic Party would adopt a pro-gay marriage plank in its platform. While that may happen when delegates to the Democratic National Convention meet September in Charlotte, N.C., the party remains divided.

Here’s the approach to the balancing act for ‘moderate’ Democrats in right-leaning states: Continue reading