After Sinema Defection, All Eyes Turn to Joe Manchin

West Virginia Senator says he's staying a Democrat for 'right now'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2022 1:40 AM CST
Joe Manchin: I'm Not Going Anywhere ... 'Right Now'
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks during a news conference on Sept. 20, 2022, at the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

After Kyrsten Sinema announced she's leaving the Democratic Party, some wondered whether her fellow centrist senator, Joe Manchin, had any similar plans. And while the West Virginia lawmaker won't say never, he did tell reporters Monday, "I'll look at all of these things. I've always looked all these things but I have no intention of doing anything right now. Whether I do something later, I can't tell you what the future's going to bring. I can only tell you where I am and my mindset" at the present moment. He also said, per the Hill, that he "tremendously respect[s]" Sinema's decision and wants to work with her "every day, the same as I have before."

While Manchin threatened to leave the party during the brouhaha over the Build Back Better bill, Fox News spoke to strategists on both sides of the aisle who are familiar with West Virginia politics and they all say a switch is unlikely. "Joe Manchin has served in elected office going back to 1982. That's 40 years of running and winning as a member of the Democratic Party in West Virginia," points out a Democratic strategist. A Republican strategist notes that Manchin considers his party affiliation an important part of his identity: "He views [Democrats'] progressive turn as an aberration, historically speaking." (More Joe Manchin stories.)

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