West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice Looms Over Joe Manchin’s Reelection Bid in New Poll

Joe Manchin always seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place on national issues, but as far as the people of West Virginia have been concerned, they’ve been alright with him since first sending him to the Senate in 2010.

It seems though that in 2024, all that could change because right now, the polls are not in this moderate-Democrat’s favor according to a recent survey putting him face-to-face with a potential GOP opponent.

In a study conducted by the Morning Consult measuring the approval ratings of America’s governors, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, who is potentially launching a 2024 US Senate campaign any day now, found himself at a whomping 64% approval. While 64% may not seem stellar, this actually ranks him as the country’s fifth most popular governor in-office. 

Manchin, however, currently sits at a 40% approval rating according to The Washington Examiner.

Could this show that if Justice enters the race, that could spell the end for Manchin’s time in Washington?

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Justice Flirts With Senate Bid

While he hasn’t announced it yet, Jim Justice seems almost certain to be throwing his hat in the race to represent the people of West Virginia in the Senate and send Manchin packing.

“I know the people of West Virginia. I know really and truly that they’ve been left in the dust and they really believe in me and trust me,” Justice said in an interview with CBS News recently. As of this writing, he has promised to make a choice by the end of February.

Justice first entered the Governor’s mansion in 2016 initially as a lifelong Democrat, however he surprised many of his constituents and caught the eye of the country when he announced on stage with former President Donald Trump that he’d be leaving the Democrats to officially serve as a Republican. While this was a controversial move, he ended up winning his reelection as a Republican in 2020.

While Manchin has been known to hold back many of the border-line socialist policies of the Democrats, he has caved in to Biden’s progressive agenda on issues such as taxation and inflation, both major issues voters are focusing on as the economy continues to struggle.

Manchin was one of the swing votes that held up Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, but later after a few concessions were made, voted to pass the unpopular bill.

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A Potential Power Shift

While Democrats may have maintained their Senate majority after the 2022 midterms, now many are having to deliver on their promises to manage inflation and return the economy to a sense of normalcy while continuing to carry water for the many challenges the Biden Administration is facing, especially running up to 2024.

Losing a Senate seat in West Virginia would certainly cause issues for the party federally, but as of now there are no ultra-progressive candidates jumping in to primary “moderate” Manchin who, while still is largely unpopular with mainstream Democrats, is still considered the ‘safe’ bet in West Virginia.

Justice has promised that should he decide to seek the Senate seat Manchin currently sits in, he will be a “reliably Republican” vote.

“I’m rock-solid as a Republican and being entrenched in those values,” Justice had told the press. “I’m a patriot. I really am. And I think our nation is going in a direction that could be our demise.”

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