David Axelrod, a former senior political adviser in the Obama White House, reportedly described Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) as “dead man walking” in West Virginia, where the senior senator trails significantly in the polls ahead of the 2024 election.
“I don’t want to be unkind to Sen. Manchin, but he’s kind of dead man walking in West Virginia. There’s nowhere for him to go,” Axelrod said during an appearance on CNN.
“There’s nowhere for him to go. He’s got a popular Republican governor in the state that Donald Trump carried by almost 40 points. He didn’t win by very much last time. So he knows that he can’t win reelection in that state,” he continued.
Axelrod stated on Monday that Manchin’s bleak reelection prospects could lead him to run for president as a third-party candidate, which the senior Democratic strategist described as “a graceful exit for him.”
Justice led Manchin in a hypothetical matchup by 54 percent to 32 percent, with 13 percent of voters undecided, according to a May 22-23 East Carolina University poll of 957 registered West Virginia voters.
Manchin says he won’t determine whether or not to run for reelection until the end of the year, and he has not ruled out a run for the presidency.
Patrick Morrisey was defeated by Joe Manchin in the 2018 Senate election, 49.6 percent to 46.3%.