Gov. Jim Justice has announced that he will be running for the Senate Seat now occupied by Joe Manchin. This is bad for Manchin, who is already down by 10 points to Justice. Justice is more popular than Manchin in all three political parties, the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Independents. Manchin is the last Democrat to win a statewide election in West Virginia. But, he won’t win in 2024. Manchin had several chances to switch parties, but he turned his nose up at them all.
Justice is a wealthy coal tycoon who was elected governor in 2016 as a Democrat. The very next year he made the switch to the Republican party and he is an extremely popular governor and he is the early favorite to win the seat. When Manchin announced that he would be voting for the latest Biden big spending bill, he justified it by saying he made a deal with Pelosi and Schumer to pass his bill that would streamline new energy products.
At the time I made two predictions. I said that Democrats were planning to screw him after insisting that he vote for their bill first. I said that would make him very unpopular with the voters and it seems I hit both nails on the head. Never trust the Democrats even if you are one unless you toe the radical extremist line. The Democrats made the deal with Manchin, knowing there was no way in hell that they were going to keep their promise.
2024 could be a huge year for Republicans in the Senate as long as they run quality candidates. Manchin is dead. Kyrsten Sinema will have to run against a Democrat and a Republican, which should swing the state into the GOP column. Jon Tester is also very vulnerable as a Democrat in a deep red state. The Republicans will win the majority, but it won’t be filibuster-proof.
A recent Morning Consult poll shows Justice is more popular than Manchin with Republicans, Democrats, and independents among registered voters in West Virginia. GOP senators have reportedly been working to recruit Justice for a Senate campaign against Manchin as they try to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats.
Manchin has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election. FEC filings show the senator raised $370,000 in the last quarter and has more than $9.7 million on hand.
A moderate Democrat and former West Virginia governor, Manchin won re-election in 2018, two years after Donald Trump emerged victorious in the state’s presidential election by 42 points. Manchin and Arizona’s now-independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema often serve as a roadblock to leftist proposals in Congress.
In an interview with NBC News earlier this month, Manchin said he would not make a decision about his 2024 plans “until the end of the year.” Across multiple recent interviews, Manchin has also dodged questions about his future party affiliation and whether he will run for president.
“I am laser focused on doing the job West Virginians elected me to do — lowering healthcare costs, protecting Social Security and Medicare, shoring up American energy security and getting our fiscal house in order. But make no mistake, I will win any race I enter,” Manchin said in a statement on Thursday.
The 2024 Senate race already has a contender in Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), who announced a campaign for Manchin’s Senate seat in November and has the backing of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Club for Growth PAC.