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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Centrist Catholic Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is finally calling it quits after over a decade of occupying the seat — giving Republicans a prime opportunity for a pickup in the deep red state.
The Mountain State politician made the announcement on Thursday with a video message to his constituents stating, "I will not be running for reelection to the United States Senate, but what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together."
Whether Manchin can mobilize the middle is one question, but what's being asked now is whether it increases the likelihood of the Democrats losing the Senate in 2024. Republicans only need to gain two seats. And with Manchin out, nine Democratic seats are likely to flip to Republicans in 2024.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) Nov. 9, 2023
His resignation is sparking celebration from both sides of this political aisle: "I'm the happiest guy in the world. Republicans, let's pick up this Senate seat. +1," says Republican organizer Scott Pressler.
"Can't believe I agree with Joe Manchin, but not running is the best thing you've done thus far," argued one leftist.
This response is likely due to Manchin's long history of angering leftists with his opposition to their radical agenda. The best example is when he voted against Democrats' bill that would have codified Roe v. Wade into federal law. He stated the bill would "expand abortion." He claimed to have been "pro-life all of my life" while believing in some exceptions for child killing.
Manchin's departure marks the end of an era in which his centrist views often clashed with the more progressive elements of his party. As the country watches, the void left by his absence raises new questions about the type of politician they'll elect in 2024.