West Virginia Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, who announced he will challenge Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin in 2024, said his opponent "cannot win" reelection because of a surge in voter registrations that give the GOP a 15-point advantage.
"I say West Virginia is a lot like Florida where registration numbers have skyrocket[ed] for Republicans right now," Mooney said during "American Agenda" on Friday. "[The voters are] going to throw him out of office next year, one way or another. I'm not even sure if he's going to run again.
"He stopped raising money and his chief of staff recently left. He cannot win [in] West Virginia anymore. He barely won last time. He won by only 3 percentage points last time in 2018, and we're about 15-points more Republican."
Mooney said the state, which voted 70% for former President Donald Trump in 2020, is "hardworking," and "patriotic," and "loves the fossil fuel industry" which has come under attack by Democrats, including Manchin.
"Manchin himself just voted to tax coal and impose some Green New Deal type of ideas on our state, which is devastating," he said. "He's completely sold out West Virginians."
He also said that many voters in the state are still angry with Manchin for voting to impeach Trump twice in the Senate.
"He voted to impeach Donald Trump twice in a sham investigation," Mooney said. "I mean his hatred and betrayal of President Trump has pretty much disqualified him for being a senator in West Virginia."
Mooney, who easily won his fifth term in the House in November 2022, quickly announced his Senate bid a week later, The Associated Press reported at the time.
"I think I'll defeat him," Mooney told the AP in the report. "Obviously, he's been around for a long time, met a lot of people, has a lot of money. I just want to make my intentions known to anybody, including Joe Manchin himself."
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz issued a statement Friday endorsing Mooney in the race.
"I'm proud to endorse Alex Mooney for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia," Cruz said in the statement. "Alex is a friend, he's a fighter, and a strong conservative who will ferociously defend the Second Amendment, be a champion for American energy, prioritize bringing jobs to West Virginia, and faithfully and aggressively represent the values of the Mountain State in the Senate."
Mooney said that he believes Republicans have several opportunities to take the majority back in the Senate in 2024, including his race.
"I have a proven voting record that's conservative," he said. "I got 66% of the vote last year. Manchin didn't even break 50% when he ran last time, so I'm confident I can beat him, and I'm a proven conservative."
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