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Manchin for President?
The 2024 General Election is shaping up to be more crowded than a primary
West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin announced on Thursday that he will not be running for reelection to the Senate next year.
That means two things.
First, Republicans are poised to pick up a seat in the Senate, especially if West Virginia Republican primary voters are smart enough not to vote for whichever Republican candidate Donald Trump tries to push on them.
Second, as Manchin hinted in his announcement last night, there may be a fourth prominent candidate on the presidential ballot next year.
Manchin said in his video announcement that instead of running for reelection, he will be “traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together."
Manchin would only travel the country during a presidential election year if he is exploring a run for the White House.
Over the last several months, the No Labels group has been trying to enlist Manchin to run for president to give voters someone other than an 81-year-old man with dementia and a 78-year-old man with 91 criminal charges to vote for in 2024.
You can hardly blame them. When your choices are rock and hard place, you tend to want a third option.
But with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. already running as a third option, a potential run by Manchin would place four prominent names on the ballot next November. That’s not even counting the Libertarian candidate (whichever crank that might be) and a few other no-name perennial presidential candidates that inevitably turn up every four years.
At this rate, the presidential column on the General Election ballot could end up being more crowded than your typical primary ballot.
While RFK Jr. would likely draw voters away from Donald Trump, should we have the misfortune of having him as the GOP nominee, Joe Manchin could have broader appeal among a mixture of Democrat, Independent, and Republican voters.
Then again, who the hell knows at this point?
The 2024 presidential election is hardly set in stone. We’re still more than two months away from the Iowa caucus, and a lot can happen between now and then. Outside of Iowa and possibly New Hampshire, most likely primary voters aren’t even in the Election Mindset yet. It’s easy to forget that, especially since Donald Trump launched his
legal fund 2024 campaign one week after the 2022 midterms.
But even if another Republican wins the nomination, a General Election debate featuring four candidates on the stage would be a first in my lifetime. I don’t know if anybody could predict how such an election would shake out.
Well, no sense in counting our chickens, is there?
After “traveling the country,” Manchin could decide that running for president is not a good idea, especially if his fellow Democrats, angry that he is challenging their guy Biden, decide to land on him from a great height.
I think the best plan is just to sit back and see what happens.
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