The Slatest

Sen. Joe Manchin Announces He Will Run for Re-election After All, Giving Democrats a Small Degree of Comfort

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27:  U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) looks on during a news conference to discuss the national opioid crisis, on Capitol Hill June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Democratic senators discussed the opioid issue and how it relates to the Senate health care bill being considered.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin looks on during a news conference on Capitol Hill on June 27, 2017. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced Tuesday that he will seek re-election, allaying fears Democrats had that their party would lose a seat in the senate.

According to the New York Times, Manchin told Sen. Chuck Schumer, “this place sucks,” and complained about the state of politics before admitting he would meet the deadline to file for the election.

Manchin, a former governor who was elected to the senate in 2010, is popular in his state—more popular than Trump, a poll last year found. Some have thought he is one of the few (and possibly the only) Democrats who could beat a Republican candidate for the seat.

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A more conservative Democratic senator, Manchin has pushed for his party to embrace moderate members of the party. He also, according to the Times, has been giving his party a good degree of anxiety:

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Senate Democrats had to hold something of an intervention to persuade Mr. Manchin to run for re-election. Recognizing the statement that his abrupt retirement would send about centrism and the political bind it would leave Democrats in this November, Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, another Trump-state Democrat, prompted other moderates to lobby Mr. Manchin.

Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who is also facing a difficult re-election this fall, left Mr. Manchin a voicemail message on Monday stating, “We need you,” according to a Democrat who heard the message but spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect private communications.

Democrats will defend 10 seats in states that voted for Trump in the midterm elections in November. If Democrats are to win the senate, they would also need to win over additional Republican seats in conservative states.

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