Manchin Thinking 'Very Seriously' About Switching Party Affiliation

He 'absolutely' might become an independent, senator says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Manchin Thinking 'Very Seriously' About Switching Party Affiliation
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on how the Special Diabetes Program is creating hope for those Living with Type 1 diabetes, Tuesday, July 11, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

All eyes turned to Sen. Joe Manchin last year after his fellow centrist in the congressional body, Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema, switched her party affiliation from Democrat to independent. At the time, Manchin said he had no plans to make a change, but time has passed since then and the West Virginia Democrat is now changing his tune a bit. In an interview with the Talkline show on his state's MetroNews station Thursday, Manchin said that the problem is that both the Democrat and Republican "brands" have become so bad, though he clarified that West Virginia Democrats are great: "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." But neither can he accept the Republican Party, he said.

Asked by the interviewer whether, then, he might consider switching to independent, Manchin, who is up for re-election next year, responded, "Absolutely." He continued, "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. I want to make sure my voice is truly an independent voice, when I'm speaking about the good the Republicans do and the good the Democrats continue to do." The New York Times notes that both Manchin and Sinema face difficult re-election battles next year. Manchin, of course, has also appeared with the No Labels group, which could send a third-party candidate to next year's presidential race, and Axios says Manchin's interview comments are particularly notable given his flirtation with a third-party presidential run. (More Joe Manchin stories.)

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