These Republicans are hoping to 'flip Joe Manchin’s seat' in 2024: report
Like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has often frustrated the progressive wing of his party by voting with Republicans as often as he has. But on the right, ironically, some Republicans see Manchin as too favorable to President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. And they are hoping to unseat him in 2024, according to The Hill’s Alexander Bolton.
“Senate Republicans say Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will be a top electoral target in 2024, even though he has voted with them more often than any other Senate Democrat and helped Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) block an effort to reform the chamber’s filibuster rule,” Bolton reports in an article published by The Hill on November 14. “Smarting from the disappointing failure to retake the Senate majority in this year’s midterms, Republican strategists predict that McConnell will pour millions of dollars into West Virginia next cycle to flip Manchin’s seat.”
Republicans, according to Bolton, are especially resentful of Manchin’s vote in support of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. One of them is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Morrissey told The Hill, “Sen. Manchin deeply disappointed West Virginians and let them down tremendously when he supported the ‘Build Back Broke’ bill last summer. That legislation really hit our state very hard. You can dress up the pig anyway you want, but most people in West Virginia understand that that bill is going to hurt us. He let the air out of his balloon, and it’s not going to be so easy to pump it back up.”
Some progressives have called for Manchin to face a Democratic primary challenge in 2024. The problem with that suggestion, centrist Blue Dog Democrats counter, is that Manchin is in a very conservative red state — not a Democratic stronghold like Massachusetts, Maryland or California. And a more progressive Democratic nominee would probably lose in the general election, Blue Dogs warn.
In the past, Morrisey challenged Manchin from the right. He was the GOP nominee in West Virginia’s 2018 U.S. Senate race, and Manchin was reelected by 3 percent. But according to Bolton, Morrisey is considering a rematch. Other West Virginia Republicans who “could challenge” Manchin in 2024, according to Bolton, include Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney.
A GOP strategist, interviewed on condition of anonymity, told The Hill, “I expect a lot of money to pour into West Virginia to try to beat him. It’s by no means a gimme, but given the makeup of the state, given Manchin’s record, I expect to see the (National Republican Senatorial Committee) spend big. And I’d expect a lot of outside money to pour into the state. It would be malpractice not to at least try to take him out.”
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