The suspension of the Ron DeSantis campaign has hit many conservative voters very hard, who are also now unhappy with any of the candidates left in the race.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who is not running for re-election in the Senate, now appears to be wavering on his previous claim not to be an election disruptor.
- Election update
- Manchin hints at run
Over the last few days, there have been some big happenings in the election. The most notable, of course, was the suspension of the Ron DeSantis campaign. With a second-place finish, DeSantis had promised his supporters he was in this for the long haul, but reality finally set in, and DeSantis made the right move by suspending his campaign.
That, however, removed a very popular figure in the GOP, and it has left voters grumbling who do not like Trump, but also refuse to vote for Biden. That has apparently fueled interest in Manchin possibly running as a third-party candidate.
There is no question that if there were ever an election where a third-party candidate possibly had a chance, this election would be it. That will especially be the case if Trump gets convicted of a felony, where his support bottoms out.
There were already whispers that Manchin would take a third-party run at the White House, but he had dismissed them early on. That does not appear to be the case now.
Manchin was recently asked about the state of the election, and he got everyone's ears up with his response. He stated:
"Super Tuesday pretty much confirms whatever is going to happen, what we believe will happen, and we'll see where we go from there.
"But people are looking for options, and we're going to be looking at that, too. Whether it's me or whoever it may be, I think there's going to be options available if it goes down the way it's going down."
Manchin has further commented on how Trump has just been rolling over other campaigns, noting the demise of the DeSantis campaign in particular. He added:
"I cannot believe the other ones bowled over the way they did. I just can't believe it because it's hard for me to fathom that. The country is divided. We don't need to be divided anymore."
Donald Trump's campaign seems to think that after making all those claims about DeSantis, that DeSantis supporters are now just going to fall in line, and I am telling you that will not be the case for the majority of DeSantis supporters. DeSantis' supporters took the lies and cheap shots at Casey DeSantis very personally, and those wounds ran deep. I have literally talked to hundreds of people that I know who supported DeSantis, and the theme is the same… they will still vote for down-ballot Republicans, but they will just not vote for Trump or Biden in the general election.
This is also going to be a problem for the down-ballot tickets because DeSantis voters are now looking to remove other candidates, especially in Florida, who came out early in support of Trump over DeSantis.
The point is that this election is now ripe for a third-party win. Manchin, who I personally believe is wrongly tagged as a moderate candidate. He is someone who has the perception of being a moderate, so he could possibly pull this off in the perfect storm of an election, so don't dismiss the idea just yet. If Trump winds up getting a felony conviction, he could easily scoop up the voters who do not want to vote for a convicted felon, the anti-Trump Republicans, and the Democrats who want a legitimate alternative to Biden.