Sen. Joe Manchin’s crucial vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, significantly strained his relationship with West Virginia voters, and may have pushed the senator into a remarkable presidential run. Manchin is now scheduled to headline a New Hampshire event for No Labels, a group pushing for a third-party candidate in the 2024 presidential election. This move has created apprehension within the Democratic Party, fearful of potential vote dilution in favor of Donald Trump.

No Labels, a centrist group co-led by former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, has been courting Manchin to be their third-party candidate. The possibility is concerning for Democrats, as Manchin could attract center-left independents who would otherwise vote Democrat. Despite the likelihood of Manchin not winning, even a 2-3% vote share could significantly impact the presidential race outcome.

According to Red State:

Promises made to Manchin by his own party members on permitting reform weren’t honored while the White House once again waged war on the coal industry. Meanwhile, the far-left gave Manchin no quarter, continuing to publicly oppose his attempts at bipartisanship at every turn.

By April, things had gotten so bad that the senator started signaling that he no longer even supported the Inflation Reduction Act. Then there were the little jabs, such as Joe Biden mocking Manchin during a speech in June and calling him a “friend,” a political death sentence in the deep red state the senator hails from.

Manchin, unlikely to run for re-election to the Senate, might consider this opportunity to promote himself as a moderate alternative to the bipartisan system. While he’s not been absolved of past political missteps, his potential role as a third-party candidate could prove influential, especially for those disenchanted by the current front-runners.

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