Sen. Joe Manchin Not Running for Reelection; West Virginia Seat Likely to Flip to GOP

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced Thursday that he will not run for reelection. A Democratic Senator in one of the country's reddest states, the seat is highly likely to flip to the GOP next year. Given an already difficult map, this will further complicate Democratic efforts to hold the majority after 2024.

Shortly after Manchin's announcement, the Cook Political Report shifted its rating from Toss-up to Solid Republican.

Manchin, who won his seat in a 2010 special election, was reelected in 2012 and 2018. However, his margin of victory decreased from 24% to just 3% as the state continued to shift to the right. After Wyoming, the state gave Donald Trump his largest winning margin - roughly 40% - in both 2016 and 2020. 

A difficult reelection battle was looming if Manchin had run. The state's governor, Jim Justice, is currently the frontrunner for the GOP nomination and was leading Manchin in early polling.

Attention will now turn to whether Manchin will run for President. ABC News reports that "Manchin insisted in his Thursday statement that he will remain involved in politics, alluding to the possibility that he could mount an outside presidential bid amid what polls show is widespread dissatisfaction with both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the likeliest nominees next year."

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