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Being a moderate Democrat and a former governor in deep-red West Virginia isn’t likely to carry Sen. Joe Manchin to victory next year should he decide to run for reelection, according to a stunning new survey.
Though it’s early in the election cycle, the poll shows Manchin badly trailing current Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who notably switched to the Republican Party during the 2016 election cycle, much to the delight of then-GOP candidate Donald Trump, who went on to win the state that year and again in 2020, handily.
In fact, during the previous presidential election cycle, Trump actually won every single West Virginia county.
The survey, just released by the East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research, shows Manchin trailing Justice by an eye-watering 22 points.
“In a hypothetical 2024 U.S. Senate matchup in West Virginia, the latest ECU Poll shows Governor Jim Justice with a significant 22-point lead over incumbent Senator Joe Manchin, 54 percent to 32 percent, among registered voters in the state,” the survey said, adding that just 26 percent of voters in West Virginia approve of President Joe Biden, who Manchin is linked to by party.
Only 51 percent of the state’s Democrats now support him.
Polling for Manchin has been trending downward for months. In September, for instance, a report noted that Manchin’s stock rose considerably among moderate and even conservative voters in his home state during the previous 18 months as he repeatedly thwarted Biden’s expensive legislative agenda as well as that of his Democratic Party.
But he burned up all political capital he earned after he struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) behind closed doors on anti-inflation legislation several analyses have predicted won’t do anything to lower prices.
“A new poll released Wednesday by Jackson County radio station WMOV 1360 AM and Oregon-based Triton Polling and Research found that U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is vulnerable after his support for the Inflation Reduction Act,” the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported at the time.
The outlet added:
According to the poll, 66.1% of the 762 respondents had an unfavorable impression of Manchin, D-W.Va. Only 26.3% had a favorable impression of Manchin with just 3.8% unsure and 3.6% with no opinion either way.
The WMOV/Triton poll was conducted Aug. 24-26 with 3.5% margin of error. The poll was conducted by automated telephone, also known as interactive voice response (IVR).
The poll comes 24 days after the $737 billion Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden after Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., negotiated the latest version of what started out as Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better social spending bill.
The inflation reduction measure contains $437 billion in new spending on green energy, so-called “climate change mitigation,” and other leftist Democrat priorities including healthcare and drug price “reform.” The measure also includes $300 billion that is supposed to go towards reducing the massive national debt, which has surpassed $31 trillion.
The law includes a new 15 percent minimum corporate revenue book tax on earnings reported to investors of $1 billion or more, as well as funding for some 87,000 new IRS employees, many of whom are likely to be agents conducting audits of taxpayers.
“If the election were held today, Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey would beat Manchin 49.5% to 36.2%, with 9.4% choosing to support a different candidate and 4.9% unsure. Morrisey challenged Manchin for the U.S. Senate in 2018, losing by three points. Manchin received 49.6% of the vote, while Morrisey received 46.3%.”
The poll also found that Manchin would also lose to another high-profile GOP candidate, 2nd District Rep. Alex Mooney, and that Justice would also defeat Manchin 46.5% to 32%.
In an interview with NBC at the time, Manchin would not commit to backing Biden for reelection.