West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced yesterday that he won’t seek reelection for his seat in the Senate.
Posting a video on X, Manchin gave the story of how he first got into politics and what his goals were. He then said he felt confident he had accomplished those goals and would be bowing out of the Senate race.
Unfortunately for Democrats, they will face an uphill – if not completely impossible – battle to hold onto Manchin’s seat next year. Even before Manchin’s announcement, the deep-red state was looking to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to claim the seat for Republicans.
The Senate currently favors a slim Democrat majority, and flipping this seat would be a necessary step if Republicans hope to regain power in the upper chamber.
But Manchin wasn’t finished with his announcement just yet. The centrist Democrat also said in his video that he will travel the country with the possible goal of “creating a movement.”
This statement has many speculating that the West Virginian may be considering a possible presidential run. When asked about running for president, a source with direct knowledge of Manchin’s plans simply replied “Nothing is off the table.”
If he does decide to run, many believe he will run as a third-party candidate like RFK Jr. The prospect of having so many high-profile third-party presidential candidates is causing stress among both Republicans and Democrats.
RFK is especially concerning as he presents an odd mixture of conservative and progressive policies. As a result, the Red and Blue parties wonder how many of their typical voters will opt for the third option instead of going with the status quo.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Sky News Australia that RFK’s influence on voter intention is still too early to tell, but that it doesn’t always need to be drastic to be effective.