Tags: Joe Manchin | Governor | west virginia | senator

Sen. Joe Manchin: '50-50' Whether I Will Run for W.Va. Governor

By    |   Tuesday, 14 April 2015 04:33 PM

It's getting more and more likely that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will leave Washington to return to Charleston to lead the Mountain State once more.

If Manchin should run for governor in 2016, a decision he says he won't announce until Memorial Day, two new polls indicate he would be a virtual shoo-in for the office, Politico reports.

Earlier, Manchin told The Associated Press it was "about a 50-50 toss-up" whether he would run for governor.

WSAZ notes that Manchin's opposition likely would be Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, state Senate president Bill Cole and Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va. For the Democrats, state Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler has indicated an interest in running.

A poll by Harper Polling shows Manchin far ahead of all other candidates in the governor's race, leading all three Republican candidates by "significant margins" of 52 percent to 35 percent over McKinley; 54 percent to 32 percent over Cole; and 58 percent to 29 percent over Morrisey.

In terms of image, Manchin outshines Kessler 62 percent to 34 percent.

A poll by Global Strategy Group, commissioned by Manchin, found similar results, with Manchin enjoying a hefty 70 percent favorability rating, Politico notes.

The poll states, "Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is the most popular elected official in West Virginia and holds a strong lead over Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in a head-to-head ballot for governor."

Manchin served two terms as West Virginia's governor before being elected to the Senate in 2010. His Senate seat is not up for re-election until 2018, but popular Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cannot run again because of term limits, Ballotpedia notes, opening up the governor slot.

Should Manchin run, Politico notes, it would give Republicans a chance to pick up another Senate seat to add to their majority, given that the Mountain State's House has a Republican majority for the first time since 1931.

Manchin has voiced displeasure with some of the state House's actions in passing bills that weaken coal mine safety standards and allow residents to drink raw milk.

"Mine safety is fooling with people's lives, and you don't do that," Manchin told Politico.
"If somebody wants to drink milk from a cow, go ahead and do it. We don't bother them. But don't make it a law."

As a Democrat, Manchin has made no bones about his opposition to President Barack Obama's effect on pushing his state's voters in conservative directions.

"There's no doubt it," Manchin told Politico. "He's made it much more difficult for a Democrat in West Virginia. If that wasn't the case and weren't the facts, then why would everyone use his name and his picture every time to run against a Democrat?"

However, whether his Senate seat would stay in Democratic hands if he departs doesn't worry him. "The landscape will change," he told Politico. "I've never thought anyone was irreplaceable."

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It's getting more and more likely that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will leave Washington to return to Charleston to lead the Mountain State once more.
Joe Manchin, Governor, west virginia, senator
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 04:33 PM
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