Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Maine independent Sen. Angus King are not deserting the sinking Democratic ship.
Manchin has announced that he will not be switching to the Republican Party as political pundits have often proposed in recent months, according to The Washington Post.
And King has flatly stated that he’s not even considering the notion that he should stop caucusing with the Democrats and start caucusing with the GOP, the newspaper reported.
"I have decided to remain with the Democratic caucus," said King,
adding that his decision "does not mean I have become a Democrat, or have officially or unofficially in any way joined the Democratic Party. It does not mean I have given up my right to make independent decisions."
And when Manchin was asked about a possible GOP switch, he said, "I’m a moderate Democrat, proud West Virginian. If you don’t have moderates on both sides, you don’t get anything done."
Calling Election Day "a real ass-whuppin," Manchin admitted that he's deeply dissatisfied with President Barack Obama, and outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada in particular.
And he’s so frustrated, in fact, that he may even have given up his Senate post and run again for governor in 2016, the paper said.
"Harry, let us vote, let’s do something," said Manchin, while suggesting that he might not support Reid as Democratic leader next year. "It’s easier for me to go home and explain what I voted for and against than to explain why I don’t vote at all."
But Manchin, along with King, has no intention of jumping on the GOP bandwagon, and, politically speaking, both senators are likely making the best decision, the Post says.
For one thing, only 21 senators have switched teams since 1890, and only six since Sen. Harry Byrd Jr. did it in 1971, which is once every six or seven years.
In Manchin’s case, it makes sense to stick with the Democratic Party because he was once a popular governor in West Virginia, and changing from the blue to the red team might hurt his chances if he runs again.
It certainly did no favors for Charlie Crist, who became a Democrat after three decades as a Republican and then lost the Florida governor’s race, the Post noted.
In King’s case, although the GOP has won control of the left-leaning state of Maine, it could easily switch back in 2017. And if King kept changing teams as the wind shifted, he would appear weak and untrustworthy, the report said.
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