2024 is supposed to be the Year of the Dragon according to the Chinese calendar, but for the Democrats, it may just become the year of the rat from West Virginia. Joe Manchin, the Democratic Senator from the Mountain State, has been causing headaches for his party ever since the 2022 midterms. With a narrow Senate majority, the Democrats have struggled to pass their agenda, largely due to Manchin’s refusal to fall in line. But things are about to get even worse for the Democrats in 2024.
In 2023, Joe Manchin Is a Pain for the Democrats. In 2024, They Fear He's Their Greatest Threat. https://t.co/LYuQHUDR0K
— RedState (@RedState) July 17, 2023
Manchin has been flexing his political muscles in 2023, and it’s only getting more intense. After supporting the Inflation Reduction Act and supposedly getting some concessions, Manchin felt that he got screwed and is now lashing out in new and exciting ways. He’s vowing to oppose Biden’s choice for Labor Secretary, praising Republican Kevin McCarthy, and even touring Iowa and New Hampshire to tout his straight-shootin’ common sense. It seems like Manchin is eyeing a potential presidential run in 2024, and the Democrats are terrified.
Enter the “No Labels” movement, a group of old, out-of-touch Democrats and Republican consultants who no longer have a seat at the tables of power. They’re essentially an anti-Trump group that wants to be Democrats without being ultra-progressive. They see Manchin as their savior, their equivalent of John McCain’s “maverick” persona. The Democrats fear that Manchin running as an independent could split their votes and sink Biden’s campaign, just like Ross Perot did to George H.W. Bush in 1992. But is this fear justified?
The jury is still out on whether the so-called “Ross Perot Effect” actually had a significant impact on the 1992 election. Exit polling showed that Perot’s voters split between the two major party candidates as their second choice, suggesting that Bush was destined to lose anyway. However, this fear of Manchin and the No Labels movement reveals a deeper problem within the Democratic Party. They’re so divided and fragmented that they’re willing to entertain the idea of an independent party run just to maintain some sense of control. It’s both comical and concerning.
But let’s be clear: Joe Manchin running for President in 2024 would be a joke. He may have some influence as a moderate in a sea of progressives, but he does not have the base, appeal, or chance to win a national election. The vast majority of voters will choose either a Democrat or Republican, leaving Manchin with a small percentage of the vote. He won’t have ballot access in every state, and he certainly won’t have the funds to mount a serious campaign. In short, he’s a non-factor.
As a conservative, it’s entertaining to watch the Democrats tear their hair out over Manchin. They’re so desperate for someone who can bridge the gap between progressives and moderates that they’re willing to latch onto anyone who promises a different approach. But at the end of the day, Manchin is just playing games. He’s trolling his own party and enjoying every minute of it. Whether he runs for re-election in West Virginia or makes a futile bid for the presidency, he knows he won’t win. And that’s perfectly fine with me.