Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2024. Manchin shared his decision in a video posted on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), expressing that he believes he has achieved his goals for the state of West Virginia.
In the video statement, Manchin stated, “I’ve made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate.” However, he left open the possibility of a future run for the White House, outlining plans to travel the country and gauge interest in creating a movement to unite the political middle.
Manchin’s decision not to pursue re-election has potential implications for the balance of power in the Senate. With the chamber currently narrowly controlled by Democrats, Manchin’s departure opens the door for Republicans to contend for the West Virginia Senate seat in the 2024 elections.
Facing a strong challenge from Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, Manchin’s chances appeared uncertain. An Emerson College survey in early October indicated that, in a hypothetical face-off, Justice led the incumbent senator by 13 points. However, Justice still contends with a GOP primary challenge, with Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) also running.
Over recent months, Manchin has expressed concern about the divisive political climate in the United States, describing “common-sense” individuals as “politically homeless.” In August, he hinted at the possibility of breaking with the Democratic Party, emphasizing that he would “think very seriously” about such a move.
Manchin has also suggested the prospect of a third-party campaign for the White House in 2024. Speculation has arisen regarding a potential collaboration with former Republican Utah Governor John Huntsman after the two appeared together at a No Labels town hall in July.
Having served West Virginia in various capacities since the early 1980s, including as governor and in Congress, Manchin’s decision carries significance for both Democrats and Republicans, prompting close observation of potential implications for future elections.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023