Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin finally shared his long-awaited plans for the future: He won’t run for re-election in West Virginia, all but guaranteeing Republicans a win in one of the most highly contested Senate races.
“After months of deliberation and long conversations with family, I believe I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed published on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. “I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I won’t run for re-election to the Senate.”
Thursday’s announcement not only sparked questions about whether the West Virginian would instead seek a third-party presidential bid, but also cleared a path for Republicans to more than likely flip his seat from blue to red.
“We like our odds in West Virginia,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines said in a statement.
Shortly after the announcement, Cook Political Report shared on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that the group planned to shift the race’s rating to “Solid Republican,” as the race now largely comes down to two Republican candidates, Gov. Jim Justice who is seen as a formidable front runner, and West Virginia Rep.