U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has yet to decide what he’s doing next. His next move will change everything.
And now Joe Manchin’s 2024 intentions have been revealed by a top Republican.
He’s a problem for the White House, openly attacks his own Democratic Party, and is losing support in his deeply red state of origin.
Even though Sen. Joe Manchin is one of the most at-risk Democrats in the Senate in 2024, Republicans are aware that they have significant challenges in successfully removing him from office.
He might run, but that’s not a given. In 2018, he narrowly won re-election. Since then, in 2020, then-President Donald Trump won the state by about 40 percentage points. Despite his protests that he is not a “Washington Democrat,” Mr. Manchin seems to be at odds with the Democrat base in his state.
Many liberals in this state’s Democratic party view him as too moderate. But I think most of them understand that if it weren’t for that, he wouldn’t have a chance,” said John Doyle, a former Democrat legislator. “As long as most Democrats believe he’s the best we’re gonna get, then they’ll support him. He then has free rein to try and persuade as many moderate Republicans as he can.”
Results in Jefferson County, about just a couple hours from the Capitol, were quite similar to Mr. Manchin’s slender victory statewide in the 2018 election. He was re-elected in the state by a margin of fewer than 20,000 votes (or 3.3%).
The outcome of Mr. Manchin’s election this year might determine the majority party in the Senate. Republicans only need to gain one or two seats to overcome the Democrats’ one-seat majority in the Senate, depending on whether or not the Democrats keep the White House and the vice president’s ability to break ties.
Mr. Manchin has hinted at a third-party presidential bid and vowed a “unrelenting fight” against Mr. Biden’s major tax-and-climate package known as the Inflation Reduction Act, but has not yet decided whether he would seek another six-year term or not. In addition, his crucial vote ensured that the tax and climate plan was approved over opposition from the Republican Party.
Mr. Manchin has been making the news due to his disapproval of his own party, his move toward the ideological middle, and the uncertainties surrounding his political future. Because of this, Mr. Doyle asserted, it is clear that he will run again.
“He’s just trying to demonstrate he believes that we got to get to the center,” Mr. Doyle claimed. “I agree with him about that.”
Donald Trump’s legal troubles add an additional element of uncertainty to the upcoming election. According to Steven Roberts, chair of the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee, this might help Republican candidates in deep red West Virginia, much as the national support the ex-president has garnered in the Republican presidential primary.
Many Republican supporters, he claimed, believe the law has been used as a political weapon. Mr. Roberts said, “It’s basically inspiring a lot of backlash against the current administration.”
Republican frontrunner for the Senate nomination in West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice, called Joe Manchin a “formidable candidate for anybody.”
“I don’t think Joe Manchin will run against me. I think what Joe Manchin wants to do is to punch his ticket,” Governor Justice shared with the media. “Joe Manchin wants to run for president as an independent. The fantasy tour won’t last long. He’ll go out looking like a centrist and can go on a book tour, become a CNN analyst, make a lot of money and fade off into the sunset.”
While he eventually won the Democratic primary for governor in 2004, his last electoral setback was in 1996. Despite not being any closer to making a reelection decision, Manchin said that he believes serving an increasingly red state “wouldn’t protect” his Republican opponents, including Mr. Justice.
“I’ve had a red state for a long time. I’ll make that decision with time, but that wouldn’t prevent me from running,” Senator Manchin shared with reporters.
Campaign filings with the Federal Elections Commission show that Senator Manchin had raised an impressive $10.5 million, with about 10.8 million dollars in cash on hand as of the close of June, suggesting he may not resign. Mr. Manchin has raised 5–10 times as much as his officially running Republican opponents despite not running himself.
In order to face a Democrat in the general election, millionaire coal mogul Jim Justice must first overcome his own weaknesses and conservative heavyweight Rep. Alex Mooney in the primary.
The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus proposed by Vice President Biden in 2021 was supported by Justice, placing him at odds with his party. The roughly 30 state lawmakers who have endorsed Mooney for Senate are Republicans. As a Democrat, he did not vote for Trump in 2016. He has also made enemies in policy clashes with state Republican lawmakers.
Mooney said that Justice was actually a Democrat in Republican clothing. Mooney is supported by the Club for Growth and top conservative Republicans in Congress like Jim Jordan and Ted Cruz.
“This man is a tax and spend liberal. He’s, frankly, not much different than Joe Manchin. We want to get rid of Joe Manchin, not have a liberal Republican version of Joe Manchin,” Mooney shared with the media about the 2024 election. “Jim Justice didn’t even vote for President Trump in 2016. He ran as a Democrat. Trump won, and then he kind of led with Trump after that for pragmatic purposes.”
Those claims, Justice has said, are “just plain garbage.” At an event with the former president in 2017, he announced his party switch and bragged about his relationships to the Trump family, both of which he said were inspired by Trump.
Justice has stated his firm belief that he will receive President Trump’s endorsement. “In my world, he’s the king. He’s got plenty of time to decide what he wants to do in regard to me.”
At the end of June, Mooney had $1.5 million in cash on hand and had raised over $2 million. Mooney has received $13.5 million in funding from the Club for Growth and the Protect Freedom PAC, which is linked with Rand Paul. Governor Justice has raised $935,000 but only had $809,000 in the bank, but the Senate Republicans’ fundraising arm will help him out. He has always financed his own campaigns but promises to seek outside funding for his current Senate bid.
Stay tuned to the Federalist Wire.