Sen. Joe Manchin announces he won’t run for president in 2024

Written by on February 16, 2024

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(NEW YORK) — Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democrat from West Virginia, announced Friday he will not launch a 2024 bid for the White House as an independent — removing what would have been a major challenge for President Joe Biden’s campaign.

“I will not be seeking a third-party run. I will not be involved in a presidential,” Manchin said at an event at West Virginia University.

Manchin told the crowd that he will focus on putting his efforts behind his daughter’s Super PAC “Americans Together.”

“I will be involved in making sure that we secure a president that has the knowledge and has the passion and has the ability to bring this country together. And right now, we’re challenged and we’ve got to see if we can move people in that direction.”

Manchin announced last year that he would not seek reelection for his Senate seat, fueling speculation over whether he planned to mount a third-party White House bid.

Had Manchin run for president as a third-party candidate, it would have likely pulled marginal support from Biden and subtly shift the election toward former President DonaldTrump, according to analysis from 538.

And Manchin hasn’t been shy of flirting with a third-party run. Over the past year, Manchin’s rhetoric has hinted at it as he has publicized that he would crisscross the country to hear from the “politically homeless” and would work to “fight to unite the middle.”

With assistance from “Americans Together,” Manchin embarked on a listening tour traveling to New Hampshire and South Carolina claiming he wasn’t campaigning rather “concerned” for the country. Throughout that journey to 10 states, Manchin said he learned that his role was not viable in the 2024 election; however, he said he believes his voice is still needed for the “sensible and reasonable” moving forward.

On Friday, Manchin said the system isn’t set up for a third-party candidate.

“The system right now is not set up for [it]. The long game, maybe we can make a third party viable where it has a process and opportunity. Right now, it’s very challenging,” he said. “And I’m not going to be a deal breaker, if you will, spoiler, whatever you want to call it. I just don’t think it’s the right time.”

Manchin kept to his promise by making a decision on his political future ahead of the largest day in the presidential primary, Super Tuesday.

An independent run is considered an expensive and challenging legal battle. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launched an independent run in October and to date, he’s only on the ballot in one state. Highlighting how the system is broken, Manchin mentioned Kennedy’s difficulties running as a third-party candidate.

As a former co-chair of No Labels, Manchin was once considered an option for their “Unity Ticket.’ Manchin’s announcement was not associated with the bipartisan third-party group who is still weighing their options.

Manchin did not declare that he’s leaving the Democratic Party, although offered a fair share of criticism during his speech.

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