Manchin’s Exit from Senate Race Opens Door for GOP in West Virginia

In a surprising turn of events, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia disclosed on Thursday that he will not be contesting for re-election to the Senate in 2024. Despite his decision to step back from Senate re-election, he left a hint of a potential bid for the presidency.

Manchin shared his decision through a video posted on X, previously known as Twitter. In the video, he expressed his satisfaction with what he has achieved for the state of West Virginia and thanked the residents who trusted him. His exact words were, “I’ve made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate” and added, “But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking and speaking out to see if there’s an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”

With Manchin’s exit from the Senate race, there’s a significant chance for Republicans to secure a seat in the Senate, which is currently held by a thin Democratic majority. Republican Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, who had a 13-point lead over Manchin in a hypothetical match-up according to an early October Emerson College poll, could be a strong contender. However, Justice will have to win the GOP primary where Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) is also competing.

Manchin has been vocal in recent months about his concern over the escalating division in the United States, which, according to him, has left the “common-sense” populace feeling “politically homeless.” He had even hinted at a potential break from the Democratic Party earlier in August.

Speculation about a possible third-party presidential run in 2024 by Manchin has been rife, especially after he and former Republican Utah Governor John Huntsman appeared together at a No Labels town hall in July.

Manchin, who has served the public office in West Virginia as a governor and represented the state in Congress since the early 1980s, expressed his gratitude to the residents of West Virginia, saying, “To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you.”