How Manchin Could Give The Republicans A Free Seat In 2024

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As West Virginia continues its rightward trend and Sen. Joe Manchin (D–WV) is more in the spotlight, Republicans will make West Virginia a top priority for 2024.

Manchin is one the few Democratic senators who are still in power, even though he represents a deeply-red state. Candidats have already offered to replace Manchin in 2024, despite Manchin’s inability to announce whether he will run for reelection.

“I’m not in hurry. When asked about his plans to reelect himself, the Democratic senator stated that he doesn’t need to be in a hurry. “The bottom line is that I care only about one thing. That’s the success and opportunity for my state and my people.”

Manchin is one among two senators. The other is Sen. Kyrsten Silena (I-AZ), which often crosses party lines to block Democratic legislation. Sinema changed her affiliation from Democratic and became an independent just days after Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-GA, won reelection. This brought the Senate majority to 51-49.

The West Virginia senator is not shy about his stance on the Democratic Party. He told CNN’s Manu Raju Monday that he was “not a Washington Democrat”.

“I don’t know how to be more independent than me. All those things have been my eyes, but I don’t intend to do anything right now. “And whether I do anything later, I cannot tell you what the future will bring,” Manchin stated, per NBC News.

Republicans think that if Manchin does not run, it could be a win for them in the next election. Many are concerned that Manchin does not represent their state, despite being in the middle of the aisle and crossing the aisle multiple times.

A national Republican strategist stated that “if he doesn’t run, it’s a free seat to us.” He’s also extremely difficult to beat. He’s destined to lose, I believe. We can’t let this happen.

Manchin has won many races, including the 2018 race against Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. His margin of victory was just 3 percentage points.

Elgine McArdle, West Virginia GOP Chairwoman, said that the 2024 election cycle would be “much larger on a national level,” particularly as more people are focusing on Manchin.

“We currently hold 31 of the 34 state Senate seats and 88 of the 100 delegate seats. Every Board of Public Works seat is ours. Then, we have both the congressional and Board of Public Works seats. Manchin’s seat is the only one we don’t own. It is clear that he must go. She stated that he not only has a target in West Virginia but also has a national target.

The Democrats still have hope for Manchin if he chooses to run again for another term. Mike Pushkin, West Virginia’s Democratic Party chairman said that it’s possible Manchin could benefit from another potentially messy GOP primaries. GOP leaders have cited poor primaries and inept GOP candidates as reasons for the GOP’s disappointing performance in 2022 midterm elections.

“If he decides to run for reelection he will be a strong candidate, just like he has been in West Virginia. West Virginia has clearly shifted to the Republican side in recent elections. Pushkin stated that Sen. Manchin was still able to win the statewide races.