(LibertySociety.com) – Although Democrat West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has not announced a run for re-election in 2024, he stands to face heavy competition if he decides to give it a shot. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, filed the official paperwork on April 26th, 2023, to launch a campaign to win the seat that Senator Manchin has held for 13 years. West Virginia is a solidly red state, and the approval rating of Governor Justice has always been high. He is in his second term as governor but has been considering a challenge to Senator Manchin since November 2022.
West Virginia Republican Representative Alex Mooney announced back in November 2022 that he would be running to take Senator Manchin’s seat in the Senate, although the favorite among West Virginia voters is expected to be Governor Justice, according to a recent poll by Tarrance Group. The poll showed that Senator Manchin would retain his seat if his challenge was Rep. Mooney but would lose to Governor Justice by ten percentage points. The current Attorney General of West Virginia, Patrick Morrisey, has announced a run for Governor. He ran a failed campaign against Senator Manchin in 2018.
In a March National Public Affairs survey, 78% of West Virginia participants supported Justice for the Senate seat over Mooney. Mooney is backed by The Club for Growth, which former President Donald Trump often refers to as “The Club for NO Growth.” Justice has met with Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, who is running the Senate elections for 2024 as Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and who also just endorsed Trump on April 24th, 2023.
Senator Manchin has left open the possibility of leaving the Democratic Party in the past, although he has not expressly stated that he would switch to a Republican. Some moderate Democrats have expressed interest in him challenging President Biden in 2024, but no announcements have been made either way. He has disagreed publicly with many decisions made by the Biden administration, especially when it comes to climate agenda issues.
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