Stage Being Set for a Mighty Fall for Joe Manchin

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has not officially announced whether or not he’ll run for reelection in 2024, an attendee from an April 2022 fundraiser that featured Republican mega-donors told CNBC that Manchin indicated he would.


Manchin’s reluctance to just come out and say himself what he’ll do has not deterred contenders from throwing their hats into the ring or teasing their potential candidacies, however.

For instance, he already has a formal challenger on the Republican side – Rep. Alex Mooney, who declared his candidacy in November.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, a Republican, is reportedly considering a run as well in what could be a rematch of his 2018 race against Manchin.

Then there’s Gov. Jim Justice, who switched to the Republican party just eight months after taking office in 2017 – and while standing next to then-President Donald Trump, who won the state handily in 2016 and again in 2020.

Justice has been peppered with questions over the last two months about where he stands on potentially challenging Manchin, and in recent interviews has said he was “seriously” considering it. In the below clip, Justice said he was “very, very, very seriously” considering it and was “leaning” towards doing so:


Justice told CBS News Tuesday that he will “decide within 30 days whether to run for West Virginia US Senate seat in 2024. He says he’s certain he can defeat Joe Manchin.. and will be reliable GOP vote” before adding that “West Virginia loves me.”

Unfortunately for Manchin, Justice is right. Polls taken within the last six months not only show Justice is in excellent standing with West Virginia voters compared to Manchin, but they also show Justice, Morrissey, and Mooney are all in a good position to beat Manchin should they go head to head in 2024:


As I wrote in December in response to Manchin once again indicating a party switch was not off the table, it would seem that he knows what’s coming, which is why he’s not only not ruling out a party switch but is also not ruling out a potential presidential bid, as he noted earlier this month:

Also, keep in mind that though Manchin’s first election to the Senate in 2012 for a full term was a cakewalk, his 2018 race was much closer as the state turned even more red, with Morrisey losing by just 3.3 percent (about 19,000 votes) in a race that saw Libertarian nominee Rusty Hollen get 24,000 votes.

West Virginia is also state that now has more registered Republicans than Democrats – and most of them are of the rock-ribbed conservative variety.

Between that and Trump’s blowout victories in West Virginia both years he ran for president, there’s no question that the state is even redder now than it ever has been, which is very bad news for Manchin should he decide not to switch parties. Couple that with the fact that Manchin striking a bad deal with a powerful New York Democrat (Chuck Schumer) and coming away empty-handed in the process could also play a significant role in his chances for another term in the U.S. Senate.


As the old saying goes, the chickens have come home to roost for Joe Manchin. He’s made his political bed, and now he’s having to wallow in it. Could’t happen to a more deserving Democrat, in my opinion.

Related: The Democrats’ Uncomfortable Second-Guessing Over Kamala Harris Begins


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