CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — A new FiveThirtyEight report shows that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) is voting against President Joe Biden’s positions on bills more often this Congressional session than any other senator up for re-election in 2024.
West Virginia had a 39-point margin toward Republicans in the 2020 presidential election, more than any other state with a senator up for re-election next year—which includes Montana at 16 points toward Republicans and Ohio with eight.
FiveThirtyEight found that in the 117th Congress (the session that began on Jan. 3, 2021, and ended on Jan. 3, 2022), Manchin voted with Biden’s position on 87.9% of bills.
But in the current Congressional session, FiveThirtyEight found that Manchin has voted with Biden’s position on 21.4% of bills, a change of -66.5 points. In comparison, the senator with the next most change, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), went from voting with the president 91% of the time to 50% of the time, for a -41-point change.
But even Manchin’s -66.5-point change might not be enough to represent what the outlet said it would expect from a West Virginia senator.
“In fact, given how red West Virginia is, we’d expect him to vote in line with Biden’s position even less: Based on a model we developed as part of our Biden Score metric, a generic senator from West Virginia would be predicted to vote with Biden only 10 percent of the time,” author Cooper Burton wrote.
Burton noted that with the 118th Congress still in session, the numbers only include 14 votes.
Recently, Manchin voted against the Biden Administration’s student loan cancellation plan, to repeal Biden’s rule for ESG considerations in Americans’ retirement funds—though the president later vetoed the resolution—and said that if the Biden Administration continues to push green energy over energy security, he would be willing to vote to repeal his own Inflation Reduction Act.
Some Democrat actors fear that Manchin may run for president as a third-party candidate. He has not yet announced if or what office he intends to run for in 2024.
Gov. Jim Justice is currently leading in Republican primary polls for Manchin’s Senate seat. Polling from East Carolina University shows that in a hypothetical matchup between Justice and Manchin, the governor was up 22 points as of May 30.
Since that poll’s data was released, news broke that federal investigators were investigating West Virginia’s “Do It For Babydog” COVID-19 vaccine lottery, though Justice has said his office is not under investigation, putting blame on the Biden Administration.