Senate Democrats are concerned that a third-party presidential run from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin could hand the GOP control of the Senate and the White House in 2024, according to Politico.
Manchin has teased a presidential run via centrist organization No Labels’ third-party ticket, and hasn’t yet committed to a Senate reelection bid, where he has already drawn two Republican challengers. Several of his Democratic colleagues are warning against a presidential run, and are encouraging Manchin to run for another term instead, according to Politico.
“I have advised him against it. I think it would be a terrible idea,” Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado told Politico. “It would help Donald Trump.” (RELATED: Dems Team Up With Anti-Trump Republicans To Crush Third-Party Org: REPORT)
Many are worried No Labels’ third-party “unity ticket” would be a spoiler in the 2024 election, and would take more votes from President Joe Biden than the Republican nominee. No Labels officials recently acknowledged that they likely won’t run a third-party candidate in the event that former President Donald Trump isn’t the GOP nominee.
“You never know about Joe,” Montana Sen. John Tester told Politico. “It would be bad for the country if Joe didn’t run for U.S. Senate.”
Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told Politico that while Manchin continues to consider a presidential bid, “I’m encouraging him to run for the Senate every opportunity I get.”
West Virginia’s Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney are running for the Republican nomination for Manchin’s Senate seat, and the governor is currently leading the congressman 53% to 12%, according to a May 30 East Carolina University poll. The same poll indicates that Manchin would lose to both Justice and Mooney in the general by 22 points and 1 point, respectively.
“My gut tells me there’s still a really good likelihood that Joe’s gonna run for reelection. And we need him, too,” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine told Politico. “If Gov. Justice thinks he’s gonna sweep Joe Manchin aside, I know that Joe Manchin is like, ‘Are you kidding me? No way.’”
Manchin was first elected to the Senate in 2010 via a special election, where he defeated his Republican opponent 53.5% to 43.4%, and won in 2012 by roughly 24 points, according to Ballotpedia. The Senator held a narrower victory in 2018, where he won against GOP Attorney General Patrick Morrisey by only 3.3 points.
Manchin did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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