Democratic gay-marriage pool update: Jon Tester announces he supports same-sex marriage at 3 p.m. ET

To be precise, assuming the Facebook timestamp is accurate, it was 3:03 p.m. Did anyone have that in the pool in the Huckabee thread? I had 2 p.m. ET. If you beat that, send me the link to your comment in that thread and I’ll credit you in an update.

“Montanans believe in the right to make a good life for their families. How they define a family should be their business and their business alone. I’m proud to support marriage equality because no one should be able to tell a Montanan or any American who they can love and who they can marry.” -JT

On Twitter, Ace’s co-blogger Slublog flags this article from last May, shortly after Obama announced his “evolution” on gay marriage:

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…

“Jon believes in civil unions for committed same-sex couples but in Montana a marriage is defined as between a man and a woman,” said Andrea Helling, Tester’s spokeswoman.

Montana is one of 30 states with constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman, according to Human Rights Campaign, a group that promotes gay rights.

Like McCaskill, he went on to win reelection last year (unlike McCaskill, it was by just four points). And, like McCaskill, now that he doesn’t have to face his state’s red-leaning voters again until 2018, he’s suddenly had a miraculous awakening about gay marriage. I wonder whether he’s expecting (1) that he’ll retire after his current term, (2) that the Supreme Court will legalize gay marriage before he’s up for re-election, rendering his new stance moot, or (3) that gay marriage will become so mainstream nationwide among voters by 2018 that even Montana will have reversed course. Number three seems unlikely and if number one was in the offing he probably wouldn’t feel compelled to say anything right now, so I assume he’s betting heavily on number two. Six years is a long time. Not a bad bet.

Speaking of which, now that Tester’s reset the clock, it’s time to update the Democratic Senate gay-marriage pool. According to Time mag, there are just six Dem senators left who are “evolving” on SSM. (Manchin, Pryor, Heitkamp, and Johnson told Time recently that they’re still firmly opposed, so I’m not including them here.) I want a name and a time: Among Bob Casey, Bill Nelson, Tom Carper, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, and Joe Donnelly, who’s the next to “evolve” and when? I’ll take Carper at 4:47 p.m. ET.

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