Sen. Joe Manchin Won’t Seek Reelection in 2024

But he said he would explore “creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”

Stefani Reynolds/Getty

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Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will not run for reelection next year. 

The conservative Democrat called the choice—which he shared the news of in a video he posted to X—”one of the toughest decisions of my life.” Instead of running for Senate, Manchin said he would be “traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.” 

If you think that sounds insufficiently vague…I agree. Which is why I reached out to Manchin’s press team in a bid to get some clarity. And specifically, to ask: Is he running for president?

No word yet. (Though, I’m not quite holding my breath: after my colleague David Corn reported a Manchin scoop back in 2021—that he was considering leaving the Democratic party and formulating an exit plan if the Build Back Better plan wasn’t dramatically cut down to his liking—the senator denigrated the Mother Jones story as “bullshit.” We stand by the story.)

In the meantime, NBC News reports that a person “with direct knowledge” of the politician’s future plans said “nothing is off the table” and “no specific decisions have been made other than a commitment to find a way to change the country’s political dialogue.”

Manchin essentially said the same thing on “Fox News Sunday” back in June, claiming (after some prodding) that he was “not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out.” During the same appearance, Manchin also discussed what sounded like his admiration for the centrist nonpartisan group No Labels—which the New York Times reported in May is seeking to put a third-party candidate on the ballot, with Manchin at the top of their list—saying that they’ve been “making common-sense decisions.” 

Manchin has been a longtime headache for Democrats in the Senate, casting the only Democratic vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, opposing filibuster reform, standing in the way of retaining the expanded child tax credit, and threatening to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which he helped negotiate, just by way of a few examples. 

The race to fill Manchin’s seat has already been heating up in West Virginia—a red state where Manchin was, for years, the only Democratic elected to statewide office—with Republican Gov. Jim Justice and Trump-backed GOP Rep. Alex Mooney in the race. As the Associated Press notes, Manchin’s decision means Democrats will have to fight to keep 23 seats—including three held by Independents—while Republicans will only need to fight to keep ten. Senate Republicans are celebrating what Manchin’s decision may mean for those odds: National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines issued a statement saying, “We like our odds in West Virginia.”

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This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

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