Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Thursday he will not run for reelection in 2024 — but signaled he was not leaving politics entirely.
“I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life, and decided that I will not be running for reelection to the United States Senate,” Manchin said in a video posted on X.
“But what I will be doing is 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,” he said.
The announcement strikes a major blow to Democrats who saw Manchin, a centrist incumbent in a deep-red state, as crucial to their efforts to keep their narrow majority in the Senate past the 2024 election cycle.
Republicans, likewise, saw Manchin as the only real obstacle to taking control of the key seat.
“We like our odds in West Virginia,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines told NBC News in a statement following Manchin’s announcement.
In an interview earlier Thursday on CNBC, Manchin made the case that the presidential field is still open.
“The people haven’t been able to speak yet,” he said. “The parties, basically the Democratic and Republican parties, might be set on where they’re going, and who they think is going to be the representative, but the people haven’t spoken up yet.”
Some recent polls of West Virginia voters, however, showed Manchin trailing the state’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, by hefty margins.
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