Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, hinted at a presidential run in 2024 on Sunday, which could explain why he hasn’t yet decided whether or not to run for reelection to the Senate.
Manchin stated during an interview that he is open to all possibilities; he isn’t taking anything off the table, as well as not putting anything on the table.
Earlier in the interview, Manchin had been evasive when asked whether he would support President Joe Biden in his anticipated reelection bid.
If Manchin runs for president, he will make history by becoming the first sitting U.S. senator to challenge an incumbent president in a primary since Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy did it in 1980, challenging President Jimmy Carter in the Democratic Party primary.
Not only that, but the moderate Democrat’s announcement on Sunday comes just 11 days after he seemed emphatic that he would not be running for president.
While speaking to the local network on Feb. 22, Manchin said he is not running for President of the United States.
In the same discussion, Manchin stated that in one and a half or two years from now, his objective is to unite the country. To maximize his efficiency, he is not ruling out any possibilities.
Any prospective Senate contest in West Virginia under Manchin’s leadership is fraught with political uncertainty.
West Virginia’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, has publicly revealed he’s considering a Senate run in 2024. That may be why Manchin has yet to say whether or not he’ll formally defend his Senate seat.
On Feb. 24, it was reported that Manchin’s plans for the upcoming Senate election had altered several times.
A source close to Manchin told a media outlet that Manchin doesn’t want to go out a loser and is paying close attention to what West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice does.
To become the next senator from West Virginia, Democrat Joe Manchin narrowly defeated Republican Patrick Morrisey by a margin of less than 20,000 votes in 2018.
Last year, Manchin’s deciding Senate vote reportedly pushed through the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill West Virginia Republicans panned.
Nevertheless, next year could be different for Manchin.
In a recent poll conducted in West Virginia for the Senate Leadership Fund, Jim Justice had a 10-point lead against Joe Manchin.
Democratic senatorial candidates in other states could also face difficulties in next year’s elections.
There may be potential for Republicans to switch the Senate seats of Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana in 2024.
Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) caucus with the Democrats, giving them a 51-49 majority in the Senate.