Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is in trouble in his latest re-election bid, according to a new poll that shows the state’s Republican Gov. Jim Justice with a huge lead.
Manchin has tried to straddle a line as a Democrat representing one of the reddest states in the union.
The 75-year-old often opposes the Biden administration on some policies. But at the end of every day he’s still a Democrat representing a state that overwhelmingly supported former President Donald Trump in both 2016 and in 2020.
In 2020, Trump won every county in the state.
A lot has changed in the country since 2018 when Manchin last mounted a successful re-election bid.
Democrats in Washington have stopped pretending to care about everyday people — especially the kind of blue-collar Americans who live in the Mountain State.
Therein lies the problem for a senator who wants to have it both ways.
Manchin represents people who mostly have nothing in common with his party or its radical agenda. He wants to continue being their voice in the Senate as a Democrat, having ruled out switching parties.
Some could argue Manchin is a victim of a changing electorate — one in which Democrats find their party’s moderates less than palatable.
That can be blamed on his party’s lurch to the left.
That leftward shift has also put the senator in the crosshairs of his state’s Republican voters, who might like Manchin personally but not enough to allow him to assist Senate Democrats in advancing ideas that are fundamentally bad for America.
The man is simply not as popular as he used to be with many, many voters, which has now shown up in polling of next year’s Senate race.
The poll reported: “In a hypothetical 2024 U.S. Senate matchup in West Virginia, the latest ECU Poll shows Governor Jim Justice with a significant 22-point lead over incumbent Senator Joe Manchin, 54 percent to 32 percent, among registered voters in the state …”
Being that Manchin is a Democrat, he is guilty of his association with President Joe Biden — who only 26 percent of West Virginians approve of.
Republicans are ready to move on from Manchin while only 51 percent of state Democrats now support him.
Manchin, a former governor of the state, appears primed for a defeat next year at the hands of Justice.
Such a victory would be good not only for West Virginia but for the entire country. There are only 100 Senate seats, and every single one of them is crucial.
ECU’s Center for Survey Research polled 957 registered voters in West Virginia from May 22 to May 23. The poll reported a credibility interval of +/- 3.7 points.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.