Schumer discusses ‘long-shot scenario’ with Manchin: Last-ditch Senate run in West Virginia

Schumer discusses ‘long-shot scenario’ with Manchin: Last-ditch Senate run in West Virginia - Politics - News

Senator Joe Manchin’s Unexpected Possibility of Rejoining the US Senate Race as an Independent Amidst Party Uncertainties

Senator Joe Manchin, a prominent figure in West Virginia politics and the US Senate, has been engaged in discussions with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer regarding a potential late entry into the upcoming US Senate race as an independent candidate. Although Manchin has announced his intention to retire from the Senate, he has not entirely ruled out this long-shot scenario.

Manchin’s Possible Independent Campaign: A Long Shot but Not Impossible

Senate Majority Leader Schumer broached the topic of Manchin mounting an independent campaign to hold onto his seat, which Manchin received with skepticism. Despite expressing doubts, he did not categorically reject the idea. “I think that’s a long, long, long-shot scenario,” Manchin admitted, adding, “So I don’t anticipate that happening. I don’t anticipate running.”

However, when asked if he had definitively closed the door to a possible independent campaign, Manchin’s response was ambiguous: “I don’t know if anything in Washington, DC, is 100%.”

Implications of a Manchin Independent Campaign for the US Senate Race

If Manchin decided to run as an independent, it would significantly impact the US Senate race in West Virginia. Democratic leaders, worried about losing this crucial seat, would be highly supportive of such a move. This shift would compel national Republicans to divert considerable resources into West Virginia to secure the seat, potentially weakening their efforts in other competitive races.

A Scenario with Don Blankenship: A Potential Manchin Advantage?

Democratic sources have suggested that the possibility of Don Blankenship, a former coal mining executive who previously served jail time for conspiring to violate mine health and safety standards following a deadly 2010 mine explosion, becoming the Democratic nominee could influence Manchin’s decision. Blankenship initially ran as a Republican but later switched parties to participate in the contested Democratic primary to fill Manchin’s seat.

If Blankenship faced off against Jim Justice, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, Manchin could potentially win with a plurality of votes, as some Manchin allies believe. Manchin has until August 1 to file as an independent candidate.

Senator Gary Peters’ Openness to the Idea and Manchin’s Plans

Senator Gary Peters, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has reportedly not discussed this idea with Manchin but is open to it. Manchin, in turn, stated that he would wait to see how the May 14 primary unfolds before making any decisions regarding his involvement in the race.

Manchin’s Focus and the Potential Impact of Blankenship’s Nomination

Following his announcement that he would not seek reelection or run for the White House on a third-party ticket, Manchin has been working on a new super PAC promoting centrist politics with his daughter. When asked about the prospects of Blankenship becoming the nominee and how this could influence his plans, Manchin remained cryptic: “I want my state to be represented properly for someone who has a passion for our state. So we just have to see what unfolds. Really – after the primary … it’ll tell you a lot more.”

If Blankenship indeed becomes the Democratic nominee, the conversation about Manchin’s potential independent campaign is likely to be renewed. Manchin understands the implications of such a scenario and stated, “I understand the scenario.”

In summary, while Senator Joe Manchin has announced his retirement from politics, the possibility of him reentering the US Senate race as an independent candidate due to unexpected circumstances cannot be entirely ruled out. The potential implications of such a move, particularly if Don Blankenship becomes the Democratic nominee, would significantly impact the US Senate race in West Virginia.