Politics

New polling shows Joe Manchin would still face an uphill battle for reelection even if he left the Democratic Party.

Joe Manchin would still face an uphill battle for reelection even if he left the Democratic Party, according to a new poll shared first with POLITICO.

If Manchin were to change his party affiliation to an independent, the incumbent West Virginia senator would still trail GOP Gov. Jim Justice in a head-to-head match-up, according to a polling memo from GOP pollster The Tarrance Group.

Justice would lead Manchin, 49-43, with 8 percent undecided and a 4.5 percent margin of error. The poll was commissioned by the Mitch McConnell-aligned groups Senate Leadership Fund.

The polling shows Manchin closer to Justice than in several other recent surveys, some of which show Manchin losing to Justice by double-digits, but also raises questions about whether running as an independent would move the needle much in the Mountain State. Justice also still has to defeat Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) in a primary; polls generally show Justice leading Mooney in the primary and as stronger against Manchin in a general election.

Manchin is openly entertaining running as an independent, whether it’s for Senate or for president, though he has made no final decision. The new polling shows a majority of West Virginians are aware he is contemplating a party switch and that, even if he left the Democratic Party, he’d still be losing registered independent voters in West Virginia to Justice by a margin of 11 points.

Manchin has made no decision on whether to run for another full term and has signaled he’s likely to wait until the end of the year to decide. His moderate colleague, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, left the Democratic Party late last year and also has not decided whether to run for reelection.

Joe Manchin would still face an uphill battle for reelection even if he left the Democratic Party, according to a new poll shared first with POLITICO.
If Manchin were to change his party affiliation to an independent, the incumbent West Virginia senator would still trail GOP Gov. Jim Justice in a head-to-head match-up, according to a polling memo from GOP pollster The Tarrance Group.
Justice would lead Manchin, 49-43, with 8 percent undecided and a 4.5 percent margin of error. The poll was commissioned by the Mitch McConnell-aligned groups Senate Leadership Fund.
The polling shows Manchin closer to Justice than in several other recent surveys, some of which show Manchin losing to Justice by double-digits, but also raises questions about whether running as an independent would move the needle much in the Mountain State. Justice also still has to defeat Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) in a primary; polls generally show Justice leading Mooney in the primary and as stronger against Manchin in a general election.
Manchin is openly entertaining running as an independent, whether it’s for Senate or for president, though he has made no final decision. The new polling shows a majority of West Virginians are aware he is contemplating a party switch and that, even if he left the Democratic Party, he’d still be losing registered independent voters in West Virginia to Justice by a margin of 11 points.
Manchin has made no decision on whether to run for another full term and has signaled he’s likely to wait until the end of the year to decide. His moderate colleague, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, left the Democratic Party late last year and also has not decided whether to run for reelection.  

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