Joe Manchin Teases Ticket with Mitt Romney for 3rd Party Run

By Jerry McConway, updated on February 16, 2024

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has already announced that he will not be running for re-election to keep his Senate seat.

Manchin has been teasing a 3rd party run, but he has not officially filed. He sure did get the newswire burning up after suggesting that he would ask Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to join his ticket.

Talking Points…
- Manchin “hypothetically” chooses Romney as running mate
- 3rd party impact on election
- Analysis

Manchin Teases 2024 Ticket

Manchin has always been a bit of an enigma in the political world. Manchin likes to push the narrative that he is a moderate and sometimes pushes back on legislation, but this is more noise than anything else. When push comes to shove, Manchin usually gives in to the Democrat leader. For instance, during the Biden administration, Manchin voted with Biden 87.9% of the time.

Manchin took it on the chin during the last few legislative sessions, once promising the American people that he would not use reconciliation to help Democrats pass budgetary bills, then he wound up supporting reconciliation on multiple pieces of spending legislation. Manchin was instrumental in getting Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act passed, but then Manchin came out to criticize it after the fact. If it were not for him, the legislation would never have gone through.

So, we fast forward to today, where Manchin is in no man’s land, possibly thinking about making a run as a 3rd party candidate in an election where, if Donald Trump gets convicted of a felony, a 3rd party candidate could possibly sneak in and take the day. To that point, Manchin was asked who he would choose on the ticket, and he said Romney. So, watch this video and notice the lack of enthusiasm when Manchin suggests that he would pick Romney as his first choice…

3rd Party Impact on the Election

Someone like Manchin would take from both sides, but the lean here is toward taking more Democrat voters away from Biden. In a January Quinnipiac poll, a survey was run with five possible candidates, and Joe Biden lost four points, leading Trump 39-37, compared to a head’s up poll, where Biden was leading Trump 50-44.

Democrats know this race will be tight regardless, so the last thing they want to see is someone like Manchin getting into the race to hurt Biden at the polls. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is among those hoping that Manchin does not get itchy and throw his hat into the ring, stating:

“I think it would be very, very unfortunate if Joe Manchin decided to do that.

“I know he’s a supporter of President Biden and has been an important person here in the U.S. Senate in terms of getting things done. And he knows that if he were to step in [to the race] that it would make it much more likely Donald Trump would be president again, and I know Joe Manchin doesn’t want that.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also expressed his concern, stating:

“My reaction is disappointment, deep disappointment. At his core, I think Joe Manchin is a Democrat and believes in Democratic values and principles. I’m deeply disappointed that he is still even talking about a possible run that would undermine Joe Biden.

“The simple stark fact is that a Manchin run for president would undercut Joe Biden.”

Analysis

There is very limited polling on a 3rd party candidate, and it is even more limited in terms of Joe Manchin, so this is all pure speculation on my part just from taking the temperature online of voters. Hardline conservatives are very much aware of Manchin’s voting record and despise Mitt Romney, so this particular ticket would primarily draw voters away from Joe Biden.

Manchin would definitely draw independent voters and some moderates as well, so it would be a dangerous ticket, but there is one problem. For any 3rd party ticket to pose a real threat in this election, there can be only one, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is already polling around 20%. If Manchin joins and Kennedy stays in, even if Trump gets convicted, I don’t see a 3rd party coming in to win (but I have been adamant that a Trump conviction and one serious 3rd party ticket could be a real threat).

There is one thing I am sure of, however. Regardless of the other tickets, if Manchin joins this race as a 3rd party candidate, it would all but doom Joe Biden to defeat.

UPDATE: The Hill is now reporting that Manchin has made the decision NOT to run for office in the 2024 presidential election. To read the full report, click here

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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