Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on Thursday endorsed Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) for re-election in 2020, marking a rare show of support for a lawmaker from the opposing party in a time of severe gridlock on Capitol Hill.

Like Collins, Manchin is considered a moderate in his party. Both senators voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last fall, and Collins quickly received severe backlash for her actions. Opponents quickly started launching GoFundMe pages to support Collins’ opponent in 2020. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, who faced many accusations of sexual harassment and assault from multiple women. A Collins victory would help Republicans stay in control of the Senate in 2020.

“I would go up and campaign for Susan Collins. If she wanted me to, I would campaign for Susan Collins. For America to lose somebody like Susan Collins would be an absolute shame. I feel that strongly about her,” Manchin stated Thursday.

Manchin added in a C-SPAN interview that he would not be surprised if most Democrats voiced displeasure with his decision to endorse Collins.

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Collins and Manchin are among the few remaining moderates members of the Senate, as many Republicans have taken hard-line stances on issues like immigration and healthcare, while some Democrats like freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have espoused progressive views that bear similarities to socialism.


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