Joe Manchin Ends Speculation, Declares No Presidential Bid

Joe Manchin Puts Speculation to Rest, Will Not Launch Presidential Bid

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has officially put an end to months of speculation surrounding a potential independent presidential bid, declaring on Friday that he will not pursue a third-party run.

Making his announcement during a speech in Morgantown, West Virginia, Manchin, recognized for his more moderate Democratic stance, stated, “I will not be seeking a third-party run,” as reported by the New York Times. He firmly emphasized his decision by adding, “I will not be involved in a presidential run.”

For months, Senate Democrats had voiced concerns over the possibility of Manchin launching a third-party bid, fearing it could not only endanger their narrow Senate majority but also undermine President Biden’s prospects in a likely face-off against former President Trump.

Joe Manchin
Joe Manchin (Credits: PEOPLE)

Last year, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) expressed her apprehension, stating, “I think it would be very, very unfortunate if Joe Manchin decided to do that. He knows that if he were to step in [to the race] it would make it much more likely Donald Trump would be president again, and I know Joe Manchin doesn’t want that.”

Despite these concerns, Manchin had entertained the idea of a potential 2024 presidential bid, expressing interest in running on the “No Labels” ticket, particularly in the event of a “health scare” involving President Biden.

“The No Labels ticket, an establishment bipartisan group, set a mid-March deadline around Super Tuesday for Manchin to decide on a presidential run. That leaves about one and a half months for him to make up his mind. No Labels leaders told CNN they do not know if the retiring West Virginia senator will run.”

Manchin, discontented with many of Biden’s fiscal and energy policies, sought a meeting with the White House to address these issues, hoping to steer the administration towards a more centrist approach. However, the White House declined the meeting, opting not to risk upsetting him by engaging directly.

Manchin’s announcement follows his earlier contemplation of Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a failed presidential candidate, as a potential running mate if he were to enter the race.

Nonetheless, Biden faces an uphill battle in a potential matchup against Trump, with several surveys indicating Trump’s lead nationally and in crucial swing states, even when factoring in third-party candidates. A Harvard/Harris poll released in January highlighted Trump’s expanding lead in such a scenario:

“But when the field is fully expanded to include not only Kennedy but fellow independent candidate Cornel West and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Trump’s lead over Biden expands to double digits, as he leads with 42 percent support to Biden’s 31 percent. Kennedy follows with 15 percent, while West and Stein garner two percent support each.”

Moreover, Biden continues to struggle to win over independent voters, with the latest Economist/YouGov survey showing Trump leading Biden by a considerable 24 points among independents.

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