Senate GOP to Target Democrat Manchin in 2024 Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. (Getty Images)
By Nicole Wells | Monday, 14 November 2022 11:18 AM EST
Despite his record of voting with the GOP more than any other Democrat, Senate Republicans told The Hill that they will be targeting Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in 2024.
In the aftermath of the GOP's failure to regain control of the Senate in this year's midterms, Republican strategists say they expect Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to spend millions on the West Virginia race next cycle in an effort to oust Manchin.
One of several Republicans who could challenge Manchin in 2024, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey told The Hill that the moderate Democrat will pay politically for his support of the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed the Senate in August along party lines.
The legislation advanced major parts of President Joe Biden's agenda, such as billions to combat climate change, prescription drug reform and tax reform.
"Sen. Manchin deeply disappointed West Virginians and let them down tremendously when he supported the 'Build Back Broke' bill last summer," Morrisey said. "That legislation really hit our state very hard. You can dress up the pig anyway you want but most people in West Virginia understand that that bill is going to hurt us."
"He let the air out of his balloon and it's not going to be so easy to pump it back up," he added.
Morrisey, who is "evaluating options," also told The Hill that "we're looking very closely at the Senate race."
The Mountain State attorney general tried to unseat Manchin in 2018, losing by 3 percentage points, or about 19,000 votes.
"I learned a lot from a past experience in a terrible political environment," Morrisey said. "The environment in 2024 is going to be much, much stronger."
Claiming it would give energy companies "the certainty they need to increase domestic energy production," Manchin said he voted for the Inflation Reduction Act because it would also lower health care costs and reduce the deficit.
Manchin, 75, hasn't said if he'll run for a fourth term, but West Virginia political experts told The Hill that he is giving every indication he will.
Former President Donald Trump won West Virginia in 2016 with 68% of the vote and in 2020 with 69% of the vote, which may factor into Manchin's retirement plans.
When asked about Republican plans to send Manchin packing, a spokesperson for the senator told The Hill that he doesn't avoid debate.
"A robust democratic process has never been more important to our country and Sen. Manchin encourages every candidate who values public service to enter the race," Manchin aide Sam Runyon said.