West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice has officially entered the 2024 Senate race. Jim Justice’s entry into the 2024 Senate election last Thursday, as we predicted, is proving to be Democrat Senator Joe Manchin’s worst nightmare in more ways than one.
Manchin said he would not make a final decision until the end of the year on whether he will run again. However, all indications point to him throwing in his hat one more time. This is because of how quickly he has moved away from Joe Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act, and all the criticism he has recently heaped upon some of Biden’s key administrative nominees.
Manchin was asked to comment on Justice during an interview conducted on the spot the day after the announcement. He responded by saying that he had lost only one election in all the “many, very many, very many” elections he had participated in. “I will not lose another election, and I never have. I won’t ever lose one.” When Fox Business Reporter Grady Trimble suggested that Manchin might not run because he is afraid of losing, Manchin sorta kinda gave away the game for reasons I’ll describe in a moment.
Manchin said, “I have never been scared of losing an electoral election. I simply won’t lose.”
I asked Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) his thoughts on Republican Gov. Jim Justice’s run for Senate in West Virginia.
“I just won’t lose,” Manchin, who has yet to announce a re-election bid, said. pic.twitter.com/ycRWmUKIGq
— Grady Trimble (@Grady_Trimble) April 27, 2023
Manchin’s remarks echoed the statement he released that day in which he wrote “But make sure you know, I will win every race I enter.”
Justice, who was a former ally of his in the state, was a “formidable opponent” when asked about Manchin’s remarks. He was even cool with Babydog at his side. Justice referred to Manchin as a formidable opponent but correctly noted that Manchin was a former ally in West Virginia.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Sen. Joe Manchin: “Joe would be a formidable opponent, that’s for daggum sure…. When it really boils all right down to it, Joe’s done some things that have really alienated an awful lot of West Virginians.” https://t.co/Eui9zbttfs pic.twitter.com/k3adq0nEPb
— Grady Trimble (@Grady_Trimble) April 28, 2023
Justice is aware that he’s been more popular than Manchin in the state for a long time, especially since the IRA was defeated. This includes more people liking him than Manchin within Manchin’s own party.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced a run for Senate, setting up a potential challenge to Senator Joe Manchin.
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) April 28, 2023
Manchin is not alone in pretending to be outside of Joe Biden’s political party for the past few months. Unfortunately, some Senate Democrats will not let him or his voters forget this.
For Justice to be able to challenge Manchin in the GOP primary against Rep. Alex Mooney – who, like Justice, is actively seeking former president Donald Trump’s support – two things must happen.
National Journal has released new numbers that show how Justice’s primary could end up like his general election.
Primary (April 24-25; 753 LVs; +/-3.54%):
– Justice 45%
– Mooney 17%
– Undecided 38%
General I (April 24-25; 974 LVs; +/-3.01%)
– Justice 43%
– Manchin 29%
– Undecided 28%https://t.co/8wbDQ5ltiZ
— Kirk A. Bado (@kirk_bado) May 3, 2023
Insiders in the political world who know Manchin well have said that his greatest fear is to go out as a “loser.” What does this mean for all the rumors of him running for president? Manchin’s not going to run for president. I think he will try to plant his flag in the Senate one more round, with a large enough ego that he believes if able to fool voters again in his reddening State.
Manchin’s current situation is the result of his own actions.