OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden just got some bad news that could ruin his chances of retaining his presidency.
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he is seriously considering leaving the Democrat Party to become an independent, which could pave the way for his rumored third party campaign for the presidency.
If he does decide to do that it could shave a significant number of votes off of President Biden’s total and deliver the presumed Republican nominee, former President Donald Trump, the White House.
“I would think very seriously about that. I’ve been thinking about that for quite some time. I haven’t made any decisions whatsoever on any of my political direction,” he said when he appeared Thursday on the MetroNews show “Talkline.” “I want to make sure my voice is truly an independent voice, when I’m speaking I’m speaking about the good the Republicans do and the good the Democrats continue to do.”
“For me, I have to have peace of mind basically,” the senator said. “The brand has become so bad. The ‘D’ brand and ‘R’ brand. In West Virginia, the ‘D’ brand beause it’s nationally bad. It’s not the Democrats in West Virginia. It’s the Democrats in Washington or the Washington policies of the Democrats. You’ve heard me say a million times that I’m not a Washington Democrat.”
What could be even more telling is that the senator said he does not believe a third party candidacy when damage President Biden or assist former President Trump.
“The bottom line is–will the middle speak up? Does the middle have a voice? If we can create a movement that people understand that we could have a voice. We could make a big, big splash and maybe bring the traditional parties, the Democratic and Republican Party, back to what they should be today but they’ve gone off the Richter Scale, both sides,” he said.
In July Matt Bennett, the executive editor of the far left group MoveOn penned an op-ed for MSNBC in which he said that a No Labels third party candidacy, which is the group Sen. Manchin is tied to, would be a nightmare for Democrats.
“At a campaign-style event in New Hampshire last week, No Labels unveiled its policy agenda for its doomed bid to field a third-party presidential candidate in 2024. While No Labels claims its ticket will draw evenly from both parties, it is utterly alone in that belief. Though our organizations represent different vantage points — Third Way, the Democratic center and MoveOn, the progressive left — we agree that No Labels’ effort would hurt President Joe Biden and hand Donald Trump a second term. That’s why we joined forces on Thursday to warn Democrats on Capitol Hill of the No Labels threat,” he said.
“And it’s not just us: Nearly all nonpartisan observers, and even Republicans, say Democratic candidates from Biden downward will be the ones most hurt by a No Labels run. That’s why the opposition to No Labels’ plans is coming from Biden supporters, while the right is either funding and supporting the effort or remaining conspicuously silent,” the editor said.
“But with $70 million from largely anonymous donors — 20 times as much as Jill Stein spent in her 2016 bid for the Green Party — No Labels certainly could be a spoiler, as Stein was. While the group demurs on whom its bid would hurt most, the data is crystal clear: It would spoil the race for Biden and elect Trump. Consider how third-party voting affected Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin compared with Biden’s 2020 victory in all three states (and the overall election). AP VoteCast found Biden won voters who backed Stein and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson by 30 points. A survey in April found Biden has maintained that advantage, with a staggering 39-point lead over Trump among voters who disapprove of both. And a recent poll from the Prime Group found that an unnamed ‘moderate, independent third-party candidate’ would pull more votes from Biden and hand Trump the White House,” he said.