Democrats often stay angry with him because he doesn’t always fall in line, but Sen. Joe Manchin is, by far, the best the Party can do in ultra-MAGA West Virginia. Moreover, he caucuses with the Party, supports Democrats for committee heads, and is often open to negotiating bills he’s at odds with.
Democrats, you’ll miss him should he lose in 2024 to a Trumper.
Two-term governor Jim Justice hasn’t officially entered the race yet, but early polls show him with a strong lead over the incumbent, who remains one of two Democratic U.S. senators representing ruby red states. Montana’s Jon Tester is the other.
“The data from this study shows that, across every single metric, Governor Jim Justice is far and away the strongest Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia, and the only tested potential candidate who currently leads Joe Manchin on a trial ballot test,” said the survey from the Tarrance Group.
According to the aforementioned poll, Manchin leads all likely Republican opponents but Justice, who trounces the Democrat 52-42 percent.
And by the way, Justice, who will be 72 on April 27, was first elected governor in 2016 as a Democrat. He switched parties in 2017 and became a supporter of then-President Donald Trump. But, even after switching to the Republican Party, Justice initially supported Manchin for reelection in 2018. Later in the general election, Justice endorsed Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey.
Democrats should be very concerned. Although it’s early, it’s not a good sign to see an incumbent down by 10. In addition, Justice matches up well with Manchin on paper.
Like Manchin once was, Justice is a popular governor. And like Manchin, Justice, because of his background as a Democrat, can probably genuinely relate to the blue-collar working class in West Virginia.
The 2024 Senate race in West Virginia will be important for both Democrats and Republicans as that seat is extremely volatile and will more likely than not be flipped.
Again, although Justice has expressed a certain inclination towards running, he hasn’t officially declared it yet. Likewise, Manchin is still weighing up his options and hasn’t made up his mind whether or not to run for reelection, and he’s in no rush to do so.
Should Manchin not run, there’s only a 99.4 percent chance his seat will be flipped.
“Senator Manchin continues to consider the best way he can serve his state and country. But make no mistake, he will win whatever race he enters,” said Sam Runyon, a confident spokesperson for Manchin told Politico.
By election time, Justice will be 73 and Manchin 76.