With one vote, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia changed his entire political future.
He went from one of the most popular politicians in the entire country, to one of the most hated in his home state.
And another heavyweight challenger is looking to make Sen. Manchin pay for betraying his constituents.
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin is learning an expensive lesson about what happens when you double-cross West Virginia’s overwhelmingly conservative voter base.
With one costly vote, Sen. Manchin put chum in the water and now he’s standing by, watching, as a feeding frenzy looks set to erupt around him.
For the length of his political career, Democrat Joe Manchin has played the part of a centrist.
His moderate act led him to high-profile roles as Governor and U.S. Senator from West Virginia.
In fact, at one point, his apparent willingness to work across the aisle and even buck his party leadership made him one of the most popular politicians in the entire country.
However, at the end of the day, he is still a Democrat, he voted for Chuck Schumer for Majority Leader, and more often than not, votes with his party.
Manchin was made a hero by many on the Right, when he became the gum holding up the works of President Joe Biden’s disastrous spending boondoggle, the so-called, “Build Back Better” bill.
However, the Biden Administration, Schumer, and even Bill Gates spent months working over Manchin, trying to get him to change his mind.
In the end, Manchin agreed to a some-what scaled-down version of “Build Back Better,” and he – along with Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema – both voted in favor of the ironically named, “Inflation Reduction Act.”
The irony comes from the fact most economists agreed the bill actually would increase inflation, not reduce it.
And so far, inflation has continued to rise since the passing of the spending monstrosity.
As part of the deal to get his vote, West Virginia was supposed to receive approval for a pipeline that would have created jobs in the state.
However, the pipeline was nixed – meaning Manchin sold out his voters and didn’t even receive what he was promised for his state in return.
2024 West Virginia Senate Race:
Jim Justice (R) 47% (+15)
Joe Manchin (D-Inc) 32%
Patrick Morrisey (R) 50% (+14)
Joe Manchin (D-Inc) 36%
Alex Mooney (R) 45% (+7)
Joe Manchin (D-Inc) 38%
Triton Polling & Research, 762 RV, 8/24-26https://t.co/XeZF69VZo1
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) September 8, 2022
Manchin wasn’t up for re-election in 2022, but he will be in the next cycle.
The Mountain State’s senior Senator now only scores 26% approval in his home state, with 66% of West Virginians saying they disapprove of their Senator.
And now, the Mountaineer State’s Republican Governor is expressing interest in Manchin’s seat.
Gov. Jim Justice is saying he’s “seriously considering” a bid against the fake moderate.
I'm seriously considering running for U.S. Senate. I want continued goodness for our state. I'll continue helping West Virginia no matter if I'm at home or in Washington, DC. #WVSen pic.twitter.com/oQs9EdxGwX
— Jim Justice (@JimJusticeWV) January 12, 2023
“I’m seriously considering running for U.S. Senate,” Justice said in a video he posted on Twitter. “I want continued goodness for our state. I’ll try to help in any way, whether it be the Senate or the House or the next governor to be, whatever it may be. And I may very well be doing it from home. Or I may very well be doing it from Washington. That’s just my thought.”
But Justice isn’t alone in wanting to defeat Manchin in 2024.
Republican Rep. Alex Mooney wasted no time declaring his 2024 intentions.
“West Virginia values are at risk in this country,” Mooney said in a radio interview. “We’re bankrupting America. I want to be a part of the solution there. It’s been talked about a lot, but I’m going to announce. I’m announcing it right now, that I’m running for the U.S. Senate. I’m all in.”
Rep. Mooney – who was endorsed by Trump in 2022 – sailed to re-election in the 2022 Midterms, defeating his Democrat opponent by 31-points after defeating a Justice-backed challenger in a heated primary.
Mooney has now won four congressional races in the Mountaineer State and would be an effective challenger to Manchin.
Meanwhile, the state’s current Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is also rumored to be considering throwing his name into the race.
Morrisey challenged Manchin back in 2018, and only fell short from upsetting the incumbent by 3-points.
Political Animal News will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.