This is from Adam Bink at Open Left. I also spoke to a source last night who said Ensign was expected to be the final vote on the repeal. I also heard that the White House took a very strong role in the past two days in pushing to get the DADT repeal across the finish line:
According to various sources, Sens. Ensign and Murkowski, of all people, announced they would support cloture on and vote for defense authorization bill with repeal of DADT attached to it. According to an interview with a local Alaska reporter, who then appeared on CNN to share the news, Murkowski said she would not vote against a bill that had repeal in it.
At the same time, Sen. Ensign’s staff met local LGBT organizations and an out LGBT elected official in Nevada and told them the Senator supported repeal of DADT and would also vote for cloture, and support passage of, the NDAA. Via press release from Stonewall Dems of Las Vegas:
Las Vegas, NV — This afternoon US Senator John Ensign’s (R-NV) Regional Representative Margot Allen told a group of local LGBTQ activists and veterans Senator Ensign will vote to pass the National Defense Authorization Act with the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, that bans gays from serving openly in the military.
Led by Nevada State Senator David Parks, a veteran and the state’s first openly gay legislator, Ms. Allen was pointedly asked several times if Senator Ensign supported the repeal and she said under no uncertain terms: Senator John Ensign does not support the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and will vote to repeal it. Ms. Allen explained that after the Pentagon releases the findings of its study on the effects of repealing the ban, he will vote “YES” to pass the National Defense Authorization Act with the repeal included. Ms. Allen also stated that any news reports citing Senator Ensign as against the repeal were false.