Manchin says he will vote for Kavanaugh

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHouse-passed spending bill would block Pebble Mine construction The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - At loggerheads, Congress, White House to let jobless payout lapse Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding MORE (D-W.Va.), who is up for reelection in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE won by 42 points, said Friday he will back the president's second nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.

Manchin is the only Democrat who has said he will back Kavanaugh. He made the announcement immediately after Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal Shaheen, Chabot call for action on new round of PPP loans MORE (R-Maine) said she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, giving the nominee enough votes for confirmation.

“I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life," Manchin said in a statement.

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"However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him."

Manchin walked out of his office and was immediately met by protesters shouting "shame" and "shame on you" as he moved to speak with reporters about his decision.

"I saw that Sen. Collins — I wanted to, out of respect, I wanted to watch her give hers ... and then I made my decision and I gave my reasons for my decision," Manchin said in an interview with CNN's Manu Raju moments after issuing his statement.

Manchin said he came to his conclusion on backing Kavanaugh on Friday morning and pushed back on whether Collins's announcement influenced in his decision.

"No, no no," Manchin said. "Everybody labored with this [decision]."

Manchin was one of three Senate Democrats who voted last year for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first nominee to the court.

The West Virginia Democrat had come under heavy pressure from both sides leading up to his announcement.

Liberal activists occupied his West Virginia campaign office Monday afternoon demanding that he oppose Kavanaugh.

But a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP survey firm, found that West Virginians strongly favor Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

The poll conducted for the Judicial Crisis Network, a group that spent millions of dollars on ads supporting Kavanaugh, showed that 58 percent of West Virginians back Kavanaugh while 28 percent oppose him.

-- Updated at 4:10 p.m.