Manchin Considering Leaving the Senate

Sen. Joe Manchin / Getty Images
Sen. Joe Manchin / Getty Images

Senator Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) is reportedly looking to leave the Senate, which could jeopardize Democrats' chances of taking the chamber in 2020.

According to the Hill, Manchin has become increasingly frustrated with the lack of bipartisanship in the Senate and is being recruited to run for governor in 2020. Manchin, who previously served as West Virginia's governor from 2005 to 2010, was re-elected to the Senate in 2018 by a three-point margin in a state that President Trump won by 42 points in 2016.

"I have people back home that want me to come back and run for governor. We’re looking at all the different plays. I want to make sure whatever time I have left in public service is productive," Manchin told The Hill, adding "I haven’t been happy since I’ve been here."

A Manchin departure would make it even tougher for Democrats to retake the Senate in 2020. With 47 seats, they would either need a net gain of four seats or three seats and the White House to have a majority. Democrats will already be defending one seat in a deep red state, as Senator Doug Jones (D., Ala.) seeks re-election in Alabama.

West Virginia's current governor, Jim Justice, was elected as a Democrat in 2016 before switching to the Republican Party in 2017. Justice has been butting heads with Republicans in the West Virginia Senate, with one Senate leader calling on him to resign.

"He had a helicopter and an airplane and all that stuff when he was governor. That’s not this job. This job is different from that," Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told The Hill about the perks Manchin had while he was governor. "When things get tough, you don’t quit. You double down and keep going. I think Joe’s that kind of guy."