Democratic Senator Joe Manchin May Lose Senate Seat to Republican Governor Jim Justice
On Thursday, Republican Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia announced that he has filed the paperwork to run for Senate and is expected to run against Democratic Senator Joe Manchin for the coveted Senate seat. This news has put Senator Manchin in a precarious position as Justice is expected to make an announcement on Thursday afternoon at a resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
According to recent polls, Manchin is losing by double digits to the sitting governor, with Justice up by at most 15 points and at least seven. This news is significant because it could influence the 2024 Senate elections.
Senator Manchin’s Political Career
Joe Manchin has had a long and storied career in West Virginia politics. He served as a former member of the state Senate from 1986 to 1996, the former West Virginia Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, the former governor from 2005 to 2010, and then serving in the U.S. Senate beginning in 2010. In the current Senate, Manchin has consistently tried to aid both Democrats and Republicans and has been a key vote in many important pieces of legislation.
Jim Justice, on the other hand, only assumed office in 2017 and was actually elected as a Democrat. He switched his party affiliation during a rally with 45th President Donald Trump that same year. Justice has been a controversial figure in West Virginia politics, with some praising his business acumen, while others criticizing him for his handling of various issues.
Responding to Public Poll Numbers, Manchin Backtracks out of fear
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has also been a significant issue for Manchin. He was instrumental in getting the law passed but recently backtracked on his support for it after seeing what President Biden has done with the legislation.
This regret may be too little too late, as West Virginia voters see right through Manchin’s attempt to placate them.
Joe Manchin is in a tight spot as he faces a powerful Republican contender for his Senate seat. With recent polls showing him losing by double digits, he will have to work hard to secure his re-election. However, he remains focused on the job West Virginians elected him to do, and he has stated that he will win any race he enters. The upcoming 2024 Senate elections may be significantly impacted by the outcome of this race.