Senator Joe Manchin was spotted at an event in New Hampshire, prompting speculation that he may run for the Presidency as a third-party candidate. Manchin headlined a No Labels event in the crucial early-voting state. The Democrat has not yet announced if he intends to stand for re-election to the Senate next year, and Democrats are worried he could do so outside of their party, and hand the seat, and therefore the Senate majority, to the GOP.
Manchin told reporters that his presence at a No Labels event does not indicate that he is flirting with the possibility of breaking from the Democrats, but he added that he’s “never ruled out anything or ruled in anything… this is strictly a conference we’re having.”
No Labels is committed to providing a third option to American voters. It says it is a “national movement of commonsense Americans pushing our leaders together to solve our country’s biggest problems.” The group believes that the American people are tired of partisanship and want the best solutions and policies to take the country forward. It is a position recognized and supported by many politicians and millions of voters.
According to Pew Research, almost 40% of Americans consider themselves independent of any party, although most say they do “lean” toward either the Democrats or the Republicans. Experts believe that a viable third-party candidate in the 2024 election will harm the Democrats more.
The left-leaning think tank Third Way says that in states narrowly won by Biden in 2020, a good candidate could have taken enough votes to hand those states to Trump, and they believe the President could be vulnerable in 2024. The group says that Donald Trump supporters are far less likely to abandon him, whereas many Democrats are concerned about Joe Biden’s ability to see through a second term. In a poll last year, almost two-thirds of Democrat voters said they did not want Biden to be the party’s candidate.