If Manchin Goes Third Party, Democrats Will Panic
If Manchin Goes Third Party, Democrats Will Panic
Joe Manchin is in a strange political position right now, and he is going to need to make some big decisions very soon.
Ever since Joe Biden became president, Manchin has had an outsized influence on policy because of the narrow balance of power in the Senate. We have seen him over the last few years block nominees that he found to be too radical, but we’ve also seen him sell his vote – and live to bitterly regret it later when his numbers collapsed in his deep red home state of West Virginia. While Senator Kyrsten Sinema has declared herself an independent (which is less of a problem in Arizona), Manchin would gain no advantage by doing that.
He has already been governor, and he’s now served two-plus terms in the Senate (after winning a special election in 2010), but West Virginia is still red and Manchin could easily lose his Senate seat. So, what is left for Manchin to do but possibly be a thorn in the side of Democrats? And he might just get started in earnest today, with a speech to the “No Labels” group in New Hampshire.
Manchin will headline an event for the middle-of-the-road group — which has been pushing a potential “unity ticket” as a third option in the presidential race — in New Hampshire on Monday.”
The possibility of third-party candidates drawing votes has Democrats worried, but they are especially concerned Manchin, who is up for reelection in 2024, could deliver a double blow to the party: a presidential bid that harms President Biden next year and virtually hands a key Senate seat and potential majority in the chamber to the GOP.”
Manchin will appear alongside former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) at St. Anselm College in the first of a series of “Common Sense” town halls No Labels is hosting. The incumbent senator said in a statement that most Americans are “exceedingly frustrated by the growing divide in our political parties and toxic political rhetoric from our elected leaders,” adding that he hopes discussions of this kind can be a model for voters.”
“Our political discourse is lacking engaged debates around common sense solutions to solve the pressing issues facing our nation,” he said. “I am looking forward to modeling this type of conversation with my good friend, Gov. Huntsman, and the No Labels community.”
Now, the “No Labels” group is co-chaired by former senator Joe Lieberman, who is apparently promising that the group will not play spoiler in the 2024 election.
Lieberman, a former U.S. senator and unsuccessful vice presidential candidate, said No Labels hopes to offer a legitimate “third choice” candidate.”
“We’re not in this to be spoilers,” Lieberman told ABC’s “This Week” program. He spoke a day before the group was due to release its agenda in New Hampshire, an early primary state.”
“If the polling next year shows, after the two parties have chosen their nominees, that in fact we will help elect one or another candidate, we’re not going to get involved,” he said.”
Call Obama buddy and loyal Democrat David Axelrod skeptical.
This is so disingenuous. The most successful 3d Party effort in modern times was Ross Perot, who won 19 percent of the vote. It is as certain as anything in politics that No Labels will be spoilers & highly likely in favor of Trump & the Republicans. https://t.co/tVyiCLHcyr
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 16, 2023
As the national director of the group explained back in June, they want an alternative to the choices we had in 2020.
With the "No Labels" group eyeing a third party "unity ticket" for the 2024 presidency, former South Carolina Rep. and National Director of the group, Joe Cunningham, explains that the re-match between Pres. Biden and fmr. Pres. Trump is "the sequel that no one asked for." pic.twitter.com/18sYmtlNdF
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 7, 2023
And as of right now, Biden and Trump hold the top spots in their respective party polling. And if a candidate like Manchin, who may have burned all his bridges in the Senate and in West Virginia, decides to throw his hat in the ring, he’s going to sound a LOT more moderate than Joe Biden has over the last few years. (Not to mention more coherent.)
There’s a good reason that Democrats are worried about a potential “No Labels” candidate. It’s pretty clear that Joe Biden is on the decline, and every stumble and gaffe just continually reminds voters that this elderly old fool is not with us anymore. A third party candidate between Biden and Trump would be siphoning votes away from Biden – and that has the left very concerned.
Polls show a third-party bid by a No Labels candidate could create a real headache for Biden, particularly if Trump is the GOP nominee. According to a survey of swing states released by a group of operatives from both parties who are seeking to derail a No Labels candidacy, Biden leads 52 percent to 48 percent in a head-to-head matchup.”
However, Trump jumps into the lead over the president by a point (40 percent to 39 percent) when a No Labels candidate is factored in. The hypothetical third-party candidate would receive 21 percent, with 13 percent being drawn from Biden and 8 percent coming from Trump.”
“It’s pretty clear that a No Labels candidate would help reelect Donald Trump, and I hope anybody who considers it recognizes that that’s a very possible outcome,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), declining to specifically discuss Manchin. “That path is not a path to winning. It’s a path to spoiling the election for Joe Biden and electing Donald Trump.”
Now, there is still a long way to go in the election. A long way. We’re still over a month out from the first GOP debate. Donald Trump keeps doing unexplainable things, like calling Hillary Clinton “Beautiful Hillary.” (I don’t care if he thinks he’s being funny.) Joe Biden might really lose a fight to a flight of stairs. The Biden family finances might produce a smoking gun so hot that even the press can’t ignore it. Trump and Pence could really take each other out on a debate stage. With so many floating variables in the air, it’s little surprise that the “No Labels” crowd is trying to test the waters and see if there’s an open lane for them to swim in.
But if they do decide to get in the water, and Joe Manchin is their candidate, then there will be sheer panic from Biden. Not Joe, because he doesn’t even realize that he’s president half the time. I mean Jill. Grandma likes her gravy train, and has decided to exploit a declining Joe just so she can keep taking trips and calling Hispanic people “breakfast tacos” on the government’s dime. If Manchin gets on the debate stage with Biden and Trump, oh boy. I’m not sure that he could win the election, but the side-by-side-by-side comparison would definitely make Joe look like what he is – old, decrepit, and senile.
No wonder Democrats are worried about “No Labels.”
Featured image: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), official portrait, cropped, public domain