In a move that’s sure to spark more speculation about a potential 2024 presidential run, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will return next month to the state that for a century has held the first presidential primary in the White House race.
Manchin, who for months has openly flirted with making a third-party White House run next year, will return to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on Jan. 12 to headline Politics and Eggs, a must stop for potential and actual presidential contenders.
The announcement of Manchin’s visit – by Saint Anselm College and the New England Council, which co-host Politics and Eggs – also noted that a new organization founded by the senator to “empower moderate voices around the country… is launching a listening tour in January starting in New Hampshire.”
Manchin’s visit is sure to grab plenty of media coverage, as it comes three days before the Iowa caucuses kick off the Republican presidential nominating calendar and less than two weeks before New Hampshire’s primary, which is the second contest in the GOP schedule.
Manchin has plenty of fellow Democrats terrified that the moderate from West Virginia will unintentionally hand the White House over to former President Donald Trump if he runs.
But Manchin dismisses such warnings, rejecting claims from fellow Democrats that a third party run would hurt President Biden’s chances of re-election in a likely rematch next year with Trump, who remains the commanding frontrunner for the GOP nomination.
“I would never be a spoiler for anybody, and I don’t agree with… the analysis that they’ve come up with,” Manchin told Fox News’ host Brett Baier on “Special Report” last month.
And he reiterated that “I would never be a spoiler” in an interview last week on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
Manchin has said he worries that the 81-year-old Biden, saddled with deeply underwater approval ratings, isn’t up to the task of defeating Trump next year. And Manchin has repeatedly warned, “I believe that Donald Trump being elected again would destroy democracy as we know it.”
Manchin made national headlines last month by announcing that he wouldn’t seek re-election next year in the Senate, striking a major blow to the Democrats’ hopes of holding their razor-thin majority in the chamber in 2024.
He also teased a potential third-party presidential campaign and in the ensuing days told NBC News that he’d “absolutely” consider a White House run and CBS News that there’s “plenty of time” to make a decision.
In a CNN interview last weekend, he said, “There is no timeline,” on when he would make a decision.
Manchin argues that national politics has increasingly become too polarized, leaving millions of voters in the middle of the ideological spectrum without much of a voice in the nation’s capital.
And much of the speculation surrounding a possible Manchin national run focuses on No Labels, the influential centrist group that’s seriously mulling supporting a bipartisan, third-party presidential ticket, if Biden and Trump are the major party nominees in the 2024 election.
The visit to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics next month will be Manchin’s second in less than a year.
The former No Labels chair grabbed plenty of national attention in July as he served as honorary co-host of the group’s “Common Sense” town hall at the institute, where they unveiled their policy proposals.