In anticipation of what is shaping up to be a pivotal 2024 election cycle, moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has again strongly indicated that he may leave his party and run for reelection as a centrist Independent.
Alternatively, he could choose to compete for president on a third-party ticket.
Manchin is among a number of centrist Democratic senators, such as Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona) and Jon Tester (D-Montana), who frequently vote against or explicitly oppose policies supported by President Joe Biden and more progressive senators. According to the Washington Examiner, Manchin is renowned for his efforts to accomplish bipartisanship on significant issues, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, by collaborating with members from both sides of the political spectrum.
Manchin has previously hinted that he may quit the Democratic Party because Americans are “starving” for moderation from both parties. He stated that voters are weary of “this constant, daily routine of everyone fighting and arguing with everyone else.”
“Let’s be for the country and get something done,” he said.
Manchin has emphasized his membership in No Labels, a centrist political organization that has sought ballot access in all 50 states, allowing a third-party candidate to compete in the presidential election.
According to NPR, the non-profit organization intends to raise approximately $70 million to collect signatures and qualify for the 2024 ballots in multiple states. They have access in Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon as of now.
Manchin responded, when asked if he would contemplate running for president on the No Labels ticket, “People are starving, starving to work together.”
“I’ve been part of No Labels since December of 2010. It’s the only game in town that wants to bring people together and get Democrats and Republicans working together,” he added.
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin hints he might abandon Democrats ahead of 2024 https://t.co/SUxHkMHuk0
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) May 3, 2023
However, Manchin has not formally announced his intentions for next year, despite already having a formidable Republican opponent.
Jim Justice, the Republican governor of West Virginia, announced his candidacy for Joe Manchin’s Senate seat last week, joining Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) as the GOP seeks what may be the simplest pickup in the Senate.
Justice appears to be Manchin’s most challenging opponent in the Senate race. Justice is the only Republican candidate with a margin over Manchin, according to polls. At 64%, the governor’s favorability rating indicates that a substantial number of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents approve of his performance as governor.
It remains to be seen how this popularity will play out in the campaign for the Senate. However, according to the survey, Justice has a 24% higher approval rating than Manchin.
The Examiner added: “The entry of Justice into the race is further sparking speculation that Manchin, who has beaten his Republican opponents handily since his first race in 2010, may want to avoid a close battle with narrower odds and try his hand at running for president. However, given he is not expected to make a decision until January 2024, it is likely he will keep an eye on Justice’s polling in the later 2023 months before announcing his next steps.”
Manchin’s increased criticism of President Joe Biden, as well as his statement that he could vote with Republicans to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act because the administration reneged on its promise for new fossil fuel investments, including a pipeline in West Virginia, is another indication that he may be considering a third-party White House bid.
The senator appeared on “Meet The Press” in January and refused to say no when host Chuck Todd asked if he would contemplate running for president as a Democrat or a member of another Party.
“If you run for office in 2024, are you going to run as a Democrat?” the host said about an assumed Senate campaign.
“Chuck, I haven’t made a decision on what I’m going to do in 2024. I got two years ahead of me now to do the best I can for my state and the country,” the senator said.
“What’s on the table? It’s reelection on the table?” the host said.
“Everything’s on the table,” he said.
“Is running for governor on the table?” the host said.
“No, I’ve done that,” Manchin said definitively, which made his next answer, or non-answer, more blatant.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“So there’s basically only one other thing, the presidency. Is that something you would do outside the Democratic Party?” the host said. CONTINUE READING…