Republican Senator Would Tap Joe Manchin In 2024 Over Trump, Biden

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday that she would choose West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for president if 2024 is a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Manchin has been floated as a possible third-party candidate to run on the centrist group No Labels’ “unity ticket” in 2024, which many Democrats fear could hand the White House and Senate over to the GOP. Murkowski, who is “very close” with the West Virginia Democrat, expressed frustration with the possibility of a 2020 do-over, and told PBS News’ Margaret Hoover that “Manchin could do the job.”

“If it’s a match-up between Biden and Trump, I know exactly where I’d go — I would go with Joe Manchin,” Murkowski said. “I am one who doesn’t like to use my vote for the lesser of evils. I want to be proactive in who I think could do the job. I think Manchin could do the job, but will our system allow for that? That, I don’t know.”

The Alaska senator acknowledged that third-party candidates have not been successful in the past, but said “maybe now would be a more opportune time.” (RELATED: Here’s What West Virginia Dems Think Of Joe Manchin’s Political Future In 2024)

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on October 22, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22, 2020. (Photos by Brendan Smialowski and JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)

Murkowski argued that “people are hungry” for a centrist candidate for president, and said her constituents have asked her to convince Manchin to run in 2024. The two have endorsed each other for their respective Senate reelection campaigns, and Murkowski said she has “no qualms” about endorsing a Democrat.

No Labels is seeking a third-party ticket as an “insurance policy,” as the centrist organization believes Biden and Trump represent the most extreme ends of their respective parties. The group has yet to put forth a candidate, but has indicated it will not run a third-party ticket in the event that Trump is not the Republican nominee.

The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 Republican and Democratic primary, based on the most recent polling, indicates that Trump and Biden lead their respective fields at 52.5% and 66%, respectively.

Manchin has yet to announce whether he’ll seek reelection to the Senate in 2024, where he has already drawn two significant Republican primary challengers with Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney. The senator would lose to both Justice and Mooney, according to a May East Carolina University Center For Survey Research poll.

“But make no mistake, I will win any race I enter,” Manchin previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Manchin, Trump and Biden did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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