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Manchin Third-Party Run Could Rock 2024

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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by Shane Harris
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AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Manchin

After a high-profile betrayal by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last year, amid a widening rift with President Joe Biden, and facing a daunting Republican challenger next fall, there are growing signs that West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin could have his sights set on a third-party presidential bid in 2024.

In a telling interview earlier this week, Manchin was careful to not rule out a run for the White House next year. “I have a lot of gas in the tank still left,” the 75-year-old said. “I’m more concerned about my country than I’ve ever been, and our standing in the world.”

Those comments weren’t the first time Manchin explicitly left open the possibility of a 2024 presidential run. In a March appearance on CBS News, Manchin said “everything’s on the table” when asked about his interest in running. “I’ve got plenty of time to make up my mind,” he continued. Previously, Manchin has said he won’t officially announce a decision about his re-election bid until at least December.

Manchin also met with a group of Iowa business leaders in Washington last week – a common activity for presidential hopefuls. In a 30-minute speech, Manchin described himself as “fiscally responsible and socially compassionate,” raising speculation among beltway insiders that the West Virginia Democrat, who has long courted a reputation as a moderate, could be charting a course to run as a third-party candidate.

Leaked audio this month from a call hosted by No Labels, a third-party group aiming to field a “centrist” in 2024, appears to support that theory. During the call, Manchin makes a surprise appearance, bashing both parties and implicitly endorsing the idea of a third-party candidate.

“The hope is to keep the country that we have, and you cannot do that by forcing the extreme sides on both parties,” Manchin says. “There’s enough people like you that care about our country, and not this political system that we have that’s not serving anybody.”

No Labels is funded by several billionaire donors, meaning that their nominee could potentially overcome the fundraising hurdle that typically sinks most third-party candidates. The group has already pledged $70 million to support a “unity ticket” that many believe could feature Manchin or another perceived “centrist” such as former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan at the top.

Manchin has not minced words when it comes to venting his frustrations with his Democrat colleagues – and with President Joe Biden in particular. In a Fox News appearance earlier this year, Manchin even declined to describe himself as a Democrat, saying instead, “I’m an American through and through.”

In March, Manchin called the Biden administration’s priorities “absolutely infuriating.” Manchin also blasted Biden’s mishandling of classified documents as “irresponsible,” and said Biden’s comments about closing coal power plants were “outrageous and divorced from reality.”

More recently, Manchin has criticized the president for his handling of debt ceiling negotiations, accusing him of placing an “ideological agenda” above the interests of the American people.

While Manchin was careful to hedge his praise for Biden from the moment Biden took office – a political necessity given that Trump won West Virginia by 39 points in 2020 – he became more explicitly critical of the president and his fellow Senate Democrats following passage of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” last year.

In a move that shocked official Washington, Manchin effectively killed Biden’s Build Back Better plan in December 2021. However, the following summer, Manchin cut a deal with Schumer and Biden on a bill that would eventually become the Inflation Reduction Act.

In exchange for Manchin’s support on the IRA’s climate subsidies, Schumer pledged to introduce and pass permitting reform legislation (which would significantly aid in ramping up domestic energy production) “before the end of the fiscal year.” But as that deadline approached, it became clear Schumer had no intention of bringing any such legislation up for a vote, breaking his promise to Manchin.

Since then, Manchin has been vocally critical of the IRA – a law he played a significant role in writing and passing. He has even threatened to work with Republicans to repeal the legislation (something which has no prospect of happening given Schumer’s control of the Senate), and has vowed to block all of Biden’s EPA nominees until the agency rolls back new emissions regulations.

However, Manchin has still received blowback at home for his support of the vast majority of Biden’s agenda, imperiling his re-election chances. 55 percent of West Virginia voters disapprove of Manchin, making him one of the most unpopular members of the Senate. Facing a challenge from popular Republican Governor Jim Justice next fall, a third-party presidential bid may in fact seem like a better option for Manchin than trying his luck again as a Democrat in a deep red state.

Manchin has some compelling reasons to believe he has a shot at winning, too.

With just 47 percent of self-identified Democrats saying they want Biden to run again in 2024, a third-party candidate with Democrat bona fides could be attractive to large swaths of Democrat voters. Despite his current polling woes, Manchin has nonetheless managed to win multiple elections in West Virginia, suggesting that he has some appeal among Republicans. It is not unreasonable for Manchin to believe he has a shot at cobbling together enough disaffected Democrats and Republicans to give him a chance in a three-way general election.

With no love lost between Manchin and Biden, Manchin may also be unconcerned about playing spoiler and allowing the Republican nominee – at this point likely Donald Trump – to win. Manchin has been just as critical of Biden as he was of Trump, and arguably had a better working relationship with Trump than he does with Biden.

To be sure, any third-party candidate faces a significant challenge in a political system that has been dominated by two major parties virtually since its inception. Manchin’s record is also far from as “centrist” as he would like Americans to believe; in this Senate term alone, he has provided a pivotal vote for almost every priority of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden. But his entry into the presidential contest would undoubtedly be a major factor in what is shaping up to be another closely fought race.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio.

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Dan W.
Dan W.
1 year ago

Given that TR couldn’t make a third party candidacy work, Joe Manchin’s probability of success is 0%.

lwbuchholz
lwbuchholz
1 year ago

I am sure we have a third party. The libertarian party. So he is doing a fourth party.

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

Nobody will make a 3rd party run work if he has to win to be considered successful. But if his reason is that the chance to be re-elected a senator is over and he wants to insert a possibility that Biden will lose, he could do it to be a spoiler. He says he is concerned about our country and he should be. I hope he runs.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Good take away Dem votes Big time

Chuck
Chuck
1 year ago

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA …OMG! I didn’t know idiot Manchin is a comedian. This is the best laugh I’ve had in a long time. FJB and FJM!

mikem
mikem
1 year ago

manchin let poopie pants and schumer get the better of him and made him out as a fool. that should tell you he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

WJS
WJS
1 year ago

I don’t trust Mr.Manchin. He should of known better than to trust Shumer to give him what he wanted. They both just screwed over the American people. Don’t bet it will be anything different if he was elected as president of the U.S. Same goes for Larry Hogan. Don’t trust him either.

Ann S
Ann S
1 year ago

Manchin has been appointed to be the spoiler for Trump. Just a back up plan to get dementia Joe re-elected.

Joann Durney
Joann Durney
1 year ago

It’s disturbing to me that people aren’t more open to the idea that we need an alternative to a rematch of Biden – Trump.
No Labels did not begin as a third party political group. Do some research, keep an open mind.
I am still researching if No Labels is a good fit for my political beliefs. But I know that I can’t trust the current Republican hierarchy, and certainly not the Dems either, to put forth anything other than a Biden-Trump rematch.
Perhaps AMAC needs to get on board?

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Now that Machin’s chances of re-election are slipping away, he is using thinly-veiled threat of “considering” all options as a last ditch effort to try and extract the payoff he was promised by Schumer and “wink-wink” Team Biden. Not going to work. Manchin sold out the country for the potential of a big payday for himself and he got played. Not very smart for someone who has been in the politics game so long.

BEA
BEA
1 year ago

We the taxpayers do need a THIRD PARTY. The democrats and republicans are too self-serving and power hungry. They both promise what they think will get them elected. Then do nothing or as little as possible for American people. They are too corrupt!

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

Anything that helps keeping any Communist Democrat from running this country I support!

Gabe Hanzeli
Gabe Hanzeli
1 year ago

well if manchin takes votes from the democrats that makes me happy

Dick Yowell
Dick Yowell
1 year ago

I know “independents” who wouldn’t vote for Trump under any circumstances. I also know some Republicans who formerly supported Trump and, while they might vote for him if he were the only non-Biden choice, they would not support his run for the Republican nomination. In fact, I number myself and my family in that group.

I submit that Trump cannot win and our country is unlikely to survive four more years of Biden.

Not sure this isn’t indeed the right time for a third candidate.

granky
granky
1 year ago

My biggest fear is Trump not getting the nomination and running as a third party, splitting the conservative vote and virtually guaranteeing the democrats a victory……..could this be just as bad for the democrats? A lot depends on who the republicans nominate and if Biden is still capable to hold office by November 2024.

Carl
Carl
1 year ago

He’s definitely not fiscally or socially compassionate. He’s a socialist democrat. Let him run. A socialist democrat vs the communist democrat Biden.

NewDay
NewDay
1 year ago

When you look at other countries with 3 strong parties it doesn’t seem to work well, one party has to bribe one of the other parties to get anything done. Manchin would be a way better President then Biden but I don’t think a 3rd party candidate can win unless the Republican nominee is a disaster.

Corbin L Douthitt
Corbin L Douthitt
1 year ago

Interesting. Didn’t see THAT coming. But can he get enough votes to beat Trump? The Media and the DNC machine has to be behind him with all their controls over the voting

Nobody’s Business
Nobody’s Business
1 year ago

Independents are just Democrats that are too cowardly to admit it!

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

My guess is that this is the political equivalent of a country mobilizing their military. Chances are its a stunt to help guarantee a cushier retirement position. If his threat is credible, he might angle for a prestigious ambassadorship, for instance. As for the so called no labels- its nothing more than camo for commies and their rino enablers. Its carl rove in a tutu.

Rick
Rick
1 year ago

Hope he does…the two parties have given us “squat”. Maybe a little more in the mix
would produce more “common sense”,usable results for the country. God knows the
USA has driven off the tracks. The answer is not in a Demented Biden or an Ego
driven Trump.

Jjenks
Jjenks
1 year ago

I wish people would get over Trumps personality and look what he actually DID..The USA was stronger under him than any one since Reagan. He is a flawed man. Yes! But look where we were under his leadership. No wars, weak foreign nations paying more of their share. We were no longer the open bank to the rest of the world. He exposed our nasty Deep State and was trying to do something about it. Had he not had to fight his own party he would have been more successful…they hated him for a reason. He was good for the country in spite of his personality and he truly loves the USA. Not like the grifters running our country. They don’t give a damn about you or the USA. They just want to keep their jobs and all the money and power Washington makes for them. Stop whining about how mean and nasty he acts. Look at the BIG PICTURE.

WRS
WRS
1 year ago

Interestng. That could make the 2024 presidential race with 4 candidates. If Manchin runs on the No Label ticket he will probably face a Democrat, a Republican and in independent campaign by Trump. I don’t think Trump can prevail in the primaries and his vindictive, narcissistic nature will compel him to run on his own ticket. The 2024 election may prove to be the most interesting and contested one in history.

Thomas Wuthrich
Thomas Wuthrich
1 year ago

Manchin could actually offer that rotten party the best chance for defeating Donald Trump as some Never-Trumpers might cross over. Fortunately, there are probably enough far left loons among Democrat primary voters who consider him not radical enough for their tastes for him to get the nomination. A third party run by Manchin might be too much to hope for. But wouldn’t that be sweet? I think it cinch a second Trump administration.

phoenix
phoenix
1 year ago

Democrats are 100% going to vote for their guy. Even if its the brain-dead poopy-pants dribbler in chief we currently have.

Manchin will siphon votes from the Republican.Because they are infested with people like that.

Manchin is untrustworthy.

Peggy
Peggy
1 year ago

We should remember what happened when Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate in 1991. He really ran because he couldn’t stand GHWB & the votes he got took the election away from Bush & handed the victory to Slick Willie & the Hildebeest.

At the very least, things will definitely get interesting if Manchin decides to run as a third party candidate. So far, Biden & RFKjr are running in the Democratic primary, while on the a Republican side we have Ramaswamy, Elder, Trump, & most likely Ron DeSantis. If he truly wants to win, Trump absolutely needs to get out of his own way & knock off the name-calling. It’s a turn off to voters to the point where they’ll vote for someone else or sit out the election entirely. It’s demeaning & is not how a head of state should act. Trump was the best president in my lifetime, & I was born when Truman was in office. Trump knows how to get things done & kept every promise he made to the American people. He can definitely do it again if he’d think before he speaks. If he’s the Republican candidate, I will definitely vote for him, but if he wants to get more votes, he needs to stop name calling.

NewDay
NewDay
1 year ago

The Dems will come up with a way to keep Manchin in the party. But If Manchin does split with them then they will find a way to adjust the voting machines.

Frank X Greimel Jr
Frank X Greimel Jr
1 year ago

If Manchin was really concerned about this country, he would have left his party before now in my humble opinion another party would only foul things up more than they already are .

Barbara Seling
Barbara Seling
1 year ago

The 2 parties are almost identical these days. I have been waiting and hoping for a 3rd party for a long time.

Steven Teach
Steven Teach
1 year ago

To all the Trump critics that want a more civil candidate, I say I want a brawler that will get down in the swamp and root out the slim that has infected this country .For far too long the RINO’s and these progressive liberals in the Democrat party have sewn the seeds of Evil resulting a movement unlike anything we have seen before. Trumps first term was an exercise of sheer brilliance in tactics the deep state had never experienced. This second term I hope will render those Deep State operatives exposed for who they are and have the full force of the Law rain down on them . If this man ,in my opinion ,has to candy coat this endeavor to satisfy your cry baby ways then write in Mitt Romney and then you can feel good about yourselves. Trump has to have a ruthless Vice Presidential pick to continue the campaign into the future . We can take it all back if we all stick together and fight this soft Coup that has been foisted upon America……Don’t Tread on Me

George
George
1 year ago

Having lived in West Virginia and having observed Joe Manchin as a politician closely, I predict that he, as always, will be a democrat. He claims to be a conservative, but he always ends up siding with the democrats. This guy is a pretender. Don’t listen to anything he says. Just watch how he votes.

tika
tika
1 year ago

his chances would be much better as a republican; which he basically is.

Deb
Deb
1 year ago

You are still a liberal, no matter how you try to disguise it. You chose to vote with the liberal agenda with the trillion dollar spend-a- thon. You can not be trusted, nor do you have any integrity!!

rustee1i
rustee1i
1 year ago

Manchin is a chameleon, and is not what the U.S. needs.
He cannot be trusted to do the right thing…..he put party over politics and we all got burned.

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

The problem with the so-called, “Moderate”, is that they side with Satan’s Party way too often and by doing so because of the media and blogs, online news, etc, they report that the Republicans have become hardcore rightwing when in fact you have to have someone to oppose the filth and garbage coming from Satan’s Party and the Moderates who give them power.

If the so-called Moderate would get off the fence and stop supporting Satan’s Party we could right this country and watch the DemonRat Party dry up and blow away.

The citizens of our Country need to wake up and decide if they want to follow the Conservative Agenda or the far left agenda that joins Satan at his hip. You don’t have to believe my description of the DemonRat Party just investigate what they stand for and make up your own mind, I promise you you’ll come away agreeing with me if you are a follower of God.

Glenn Davis
Glenn Davis
1 year ago

Simple solution !! Eliminate all Parties !! No Parties just people for what they stand for !! No separation between people !! No Division between people !! Just Voting for the Person and what they stand for.

Their is so much Division caused by the Parties, the separation of people is what the Parties do to cause a rift between people in so many ways. Race, Color, Nationalities, Countries, Birth rights, Freedom, and on and on and on.

This has to STOP !! Remember 911 when the county came together, all People came together, Flags just a flying everywhere, every home in America !!!!!

We The PEOPLE !!

It is time we Fly our Flags For America again !!, Stand for your Country.

Remember, In GOD we Trust !! I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation under GOD !!

Please PRAY for OUR COUNTRY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May GOD continue to Bless this Country !!

God Bless America

Love you all, Glenn

Freespeech
Freespeech
1 year ago

So Schumer reneged on his promise to Manchin. Surprise, surprise, a man like Schumer would renege on his promise! What is astonishing is that Manchin would believe Schumer. Is Manchin a fool or is he a pretend Conservative who always votes Democrat? In any case, in a country founded on Christian principles, anyone who believes in a Schumer or Manchin is a fool.

Barbara L St Clair
Barbara L St Clair
1 year ago

Manchin and Schumer should both retire. We can’t trust either one of them!!

Sherman Axinn
Sherman Axinn
1 year ago

Manchin is probably ne of the best of the Demos. but he is still a Demo, and we have lad enough of them to ruin my country. I want somebody who has the guts to handle the un-elected bureau(c)rats. It won’t be easy.

Ann
Ann
1 year ago

It is selfish &!not in our country’s best interest for him to run as a third party candidate. It will only split the vote & cause the Democrats to continue control. He should run as a Democrat if he wants to run. He is not conservative enough.

Pat R
Pat R
1 year ago

It seems the Democrats are totally ignoring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s running on the Dem ticket. If there is a true centrist, it is likely him. Popular name or not, RFK, Jr is getting no recognition whatsoever… have anything to do with him wrongfully being called an anti-vaxer? He was against mandating a injection of untested new drugs.
Don’t get me wrong, but Bobby Kennedy Jr was right to question that, especially with the growing numbers of people experiencing life-threatening side-effects.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

Third party candidates generally stand little or no chance of winning the office they seek.
They are often labelled “spoilers” as that is what they often do for the popular candidate, pull enough votes away from the popular candidate to “spoil” the chance of winning.
Manchin was fooled by Biden and Schumer into voting for their bill they lied would reduce inflation, he should retire.

Alan
Alan
1 year ago

Manchin is more chameleon than anything else. He attempts to satisfy the Dems and GOP but in doing so alienates both sides

Gloria
Gloria
1 year ago

Chuck Schumer is the one who needs to leave – the country! He is one bad dude, and seems to love to intimidate others. He and McConnell, both need to leave politics. They have both been there too many years. We need Term Limits. Politics was not meant to be a lifetime career,They now think they are God. NOT!!

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