With one vote, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia changed his entire political future.
He went from one of the most popular politicians to one of the most hated in his home state.
And Manchin didn’t have to wait long for the first of his 2024 opponents to line up against him.
One wrong move by Manchin
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 quite popular.
But 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 briefly seen as 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 Senator Krysten Sinema – both voted in favor of the ironically named, “Inflation Reduction Act.”
The irony comes from the fact most economists agree the bill actually will 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 a pipeline that would have created jobs in the state.
Blood in the waters of West Virginia
However, the pipeline was nixed – meaning Manchin sold out his voters and didn’t even receive the pork-barrel spending 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.
As you can see in the polling detailed in the above tweet, Manchin is now in major trouble of losing his seat in two-years.
Manchin now trails every one of his most likely 2024 opponents.
And the results aren’t even close.
According to the Triton Polling & Research survey from early September, Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, by 7-points.
Mooney vs. Manchin
The Donald Trump-endorsed Rep. Mooney sailed to re-election last week, defeating his Democrat challenger by 31-points.
And 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.”
Mooney has now won four Congressional races in the Mountaineer State and would be an effective challenger to Manchin.
But Mooney may have some steep competition to get to a general election race against West Virginia’s Senior Senator.
Popular sitting Republican West Virginia Governor – and another friend of Donald Trump – Jim Justice has said he’s considering mounting a challenge to Manchin.
And the state’s current Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is also rumored to be considering throwing his name into the race.