Senator Joe Manchin celebrates his victory on November 6, 2018.
Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images
One of the most conservative democrats in the senate is considering a job for the governor. Politics reported Friday that Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia in 2020 will challenge the Republican governor, Jim Justice. "I think about it every minute of every day. Now, thinking about it and doing it are two different things," he said. "I will make a decision sometime this fall. I think there is no rush at all. & # 39;
The news that a gubernatorial race is even on Manchin's brain is likely to disturb other members of his party. Democrats face a difficult path to recapture the senate in 2020, and the seat of Manchin is crucial; that is the stated reasoning of the national party for its tolerance of its conservative voting behavior. West Virginia is just too right wing, and Manchin is the only hope of the party. Governor Manchin means a new Republican senator. That is probably true, but regardless of Manchin's next step, sooner or later democrats will have to engage in defeatism over West Virginia and other conservative states.
Manchin was previously the governor of the state, and if gubernatorial candidates go, he would probably prove a safer bet than the previous choice of his party: Justice, who returned to the GOP after taking office. (That maneuver has not earned him the loyalty of the republican party of the state. This week, the Republican Executive Committee of Kanawha County without confidence focused on Justice, which recently refused to sign a GOP bill that would have created some charter schools in the state.) Manchin also knows how to win a state competition in a right-wing state, and there is no doubt that he prefer justice or the right of the republican party to justice. Although Manchin would not move the state as far to the left as some would like, a democratic governor who actually stays in the party can block the GOP's legislative priorities in an increasingly extreme right-wing state.
Nevertheless, the opportunities of the Democratic Party in West Virginia do not look great. The state remains broad based on President Donald Trump. Even if Manchin succeeded in 2020, another democrat – whether they are a progressive populist or a conservative democrat in the figure of Manchin – would probably run into trouble in the next senate race. That bet is not the one the party can now afford, while the seat of Alabama senator Doug Jones is really in danger. As Politics points out that Manchin defeated his Republican challenger in the meantime of 2018 by just three points.
But there is reason to think that the state is changing – perhaps not in time for a Manchin gubernatorial run to do anything other than delivering a Senate seat in Republican hands, but on the road, when the Democratic Party treats the state as if it is something other than a place where his election dreams disappear. As conservative as West Virginia, it doesn't march in place. Democratic candidates in the three congressional districts of the state outperformed Hillary Clinton's action against Trump. Democrat Talley Sergent corrected 14 points on Clinton in the state's Second Congress district; in the third congress district, democrat Richard Ojeda Clinton improved by 20 points. Kendra Fershee, in the first convention district, outperformed Clinton by eight points. Although these results are not proof that a democrat could successfully hold Manchin's seat in party hands, they do provide a reason to think that the situation is not as hopeless as conventional wisdom dictates.
The state can move for the right candidate. It is up to the party to increase its recruitment efforts, not only for congress candidates but also for local races, to build its supporters. National Democrats cannot count on Joe Manchin forever. If they want an alternative, they have to invest.