5 Reasons Why Joe Manchin Will Not Be Re-Elected

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Joe_Manchin_official_portrait_112th_Congress

By @JeremyTKFarley

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Editor’s note: The below article was published on May 12, 2016.  Read an update to this article (Feb. 1, 2017) at the bottom of this page.

I have been young, but now I’m old and in the course of the span of my life, I’ve seen some pretty unbelievable things take place.  Men have walked on the moon.  I can communicate with someone on the other side of the globe by clicking a single button.  And coolest of all, I can view my home from space via a satellite.

Yet all of these recent developments pale in comparison to the one thing I thought I’d never live to see – the death of the Democratic Party of West Virginia.

As a boy, I remember riding through Mingo County and seeing thousands of election signs – all of which were touting how great of a Democrat the particular candidate was.  In the coalfields of Southern West Virginia, the only contested races were for the Democratic nomination, if you could win the glorious “D” beside your name, you were a shoe-in for victory come November.

My grandmother often joked that she would vote for a dog before she’d vote for a “[Insert any expletive you wish] Republican.”  And she wasn’t alone.  The Democratic Party controlled the state’s senate from 1933 to 2015 and the House of Delegates from 1930 to 2014.  During this same time, only two different Republicans served as the state’s governor.  If there ever was a Democratic stronghold it was in the hills of the Mountain State.

Today, however, two days following the state’s primary elections, we are just a handful of years from the total decimation of this most established West Virginia entity and no one stands to lose more than Democrat Joe Manchin, the state’s once beloved former governor, Mountaineer football star and successor to the legendary Robert C. Byrd.

Allow me to begin by stating that I have no personal vendetta against Senator Manchin.  Each time I have met him, he has shown himself to be friendly and honorable.  At the end of the day, however, neither of these attributes will be powerful enough to keep him in office for another 6-year-term.

I submit to the reader five reasons why Joe Manchin will not be reelected in the 2018 election.

1. Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is probably the only person in the entire Northern Hemisphere that would lose an election to disgraced former WVU head football coach Rich Rodriguez in the State of West Virginia.

Why?  Because of a number of reasons – most recently when she stated in a Democratic town hall debate that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of a job…”  Never mind the context of her remarks, it was a soundbite that stuck and one that will forever echo through the hollers of coal country.

Yet, Senator Manchin has stood resolute, unwavering in his support for Hillary – even when the cries of angry and unemployed former Democrats, clad in their mining uniforms — holding signs of the Republican Presidential nominee — could be heard inside the room of a non-public campaign stop in Williamson just the other day.

Our boy Joe may have used up a little too much political capital helping a woman who will never win in the Mountain State.

2. FDR Democrats are all Dead

Two years ago, we buried my grandfather.  He was the last of his generation.  A veteran of the CCCs, he survived the Great Depression and a World War and he’d just assume give the credit to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt as he would God…  and because of his disdain for Herbert Hoover, love for FDR, Truman and Kennedy, he always punched the “D.”

Unfortunately for Senator Manchin, my grandfather died between the 2012 and 2016 election… and so have a lot of other people’s grandparents.

Their replacement: Out of work young families who have a total disdain and distrust for “the establishment” and when you’ve held some type of public office since 1982, you’re going to have a hard time convincing these young families that you still need a little more time to solve their problems.  Especially when your party oversaw the state’s population decrease over a 75-year span while in power… when the entire planet’s population expanded three-fold during this time.

These young families were raised Democrat, but they’re jumping ship and they’re doing it fast.

3. The National Democratic Party has left the people of West Virginia

I mentioned my grandfather in point #2.  He owned more guns than any other person I have ever known.  He mined coal nearly all of his life.  And he was a firm believer in what we now refer to as “traditional values.”

My grandfather was not unique among the coalfields of West Virginia – and neither are his children, heirs who continue in these values.

The reality is this – the people of West Virginia are not leaving the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left the people of West Virginia generations ago… it’s just taken the people this long to come to the realization that their marriage to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton is irreconcilable.

If the Republicans can tie Joe to the “party of the godless,” which will be far easier this time around than in 2012, they’ve already won half the battle.

On top of all this, Joe Manchin, the lifetime NRA member who literally shot one of Obama’s cherished pieces of legislation with a hunting rifle is going to have a hard time competing for funds against true liberals who run in Democratic donor circles.  Why would an elite leftist support the campaign of moderate Joe, when they can support an open socialist who actually stands a chance at winning?

Demographics reveal that on a national level, the future is looking well for Democrats, but those same demographics also show that on a state level the party doesn’t stand a chance moving forward.  National Democratic leaders are recognizing this and can be expected to shift their resources to markets they can win – perhaps in Ohio or Virginia…  two states that are far more politically powerful than ours.

4. Donald Trump

Allow me to go on record and say that I positively despise almost everything about the man Donald Trump…  But make no mistake about it – The effect of “The Donald” in the Mountain State will be “YUGE” for years to come!  State Republicans owe him a debt of gratitude for putting GOP signs in yards that one would have never imagined seeing such a sign only a decade ago.

As President (which is a YUGELY unlikely scenario), Trump Force One will come rolling down the tarmac at Yeager in October 2018 and the walking taupe will exit the plane and stand before a Presidential podium – pointing out all of the bad things “Lie’n Joe” or “Traitor Joe” (or whatever clever name he chooses) has done throughout his political career.  This will rally the base against Little Joe and ensure a Republican tidal wave.

If the experts are right, however, Senator Manchin will find himself in a midterm election in a state whose already miserable economy will be even worse two years from now– at a moment in history when voters are really, really, really angry at the President – who just so happens to be of the same political party as he.

Southwest Virginia’s longtime Democratic coalfield Congressman Rick Boucher found himself in this exact position during the midterm election of President Obama’s first term.  The voters of Virginia’s 9th  Congressional District couldn’t wait to vote Obama out of office and kicking Boucher out (who had held the seat for over a generation) simply was a good stress reliever for them as they anxiously waited – don’t think for a moment that Joe Manchin is above having this happen to him as well… especially if he continues to remain so loyal to such an unpopular figure.

5. Things are really bad in West Virginia

I hate to say this, but if you haven’t noticed, things are really bad in West Virginia right now.  Our prescription drug abuse rate has grown into a national tragedy, our people are out of work, our life expectancies are a decade less than the rest of the country and frankly, there aren’t a lot of rays of hope on the horizon.

Every politician — including all of those elected this past Tuesday — have said that they’re going to fix things, but in reality they’re largely powerless to the many forces affecting the economy.  In the end, the voters always realize that the emperor has no clothes – it simply takes more time for some than others.

If Senator Manchin is smart, he’ll ride off into the sunset with a flawless election record, but if he’s like most career politicians, he’ll have to get that last win… unfortunately for him, I just don’t see it happening this time around.

So who will be the individual that will turn the entire West Virginia Congressional delegation red?  Who will this mystery candidate be that will topple the unstoppable?

My guess is that it won’t be Bill Cole, John Raese, but he or she is out there and the odds are, they are probably already silently preparing for the fight of their life!

Update: February 1, 2017

Well for starters, so much for the wisdom of those “experts”!  Looks like Trump Force One may very well be cruising down the runway of Yeager in the fall of next year… Who’d ah thunk that?!

The developments of the past eight months reveal one simple reality: Who can say?  Who can say Manchin will lose? Who can say Manchin will win? Who can say Rich Rodriguez won’t come back and win the Senate seat as an independent candidate? If we can take any lessons regarding politics home with us after reviewing the past year, it is this: Ain’t nobody knows nothing anymore!

With this said, I think I’m going to hold to my initial prediction concerning Manchin – even though the state proved in last November’s election that it has no qualms in voting for a Democrat for governor while only giving the same party’s nominee for President 26% of the vote… on the same day.  That’s pretty extraordinary!

So Manchin still can get reelected with a (D) beside his name in West Virginia (feels weird to have even said this), but to do so, he will have to distance himself from the National Democratic Party… exactly what Jim Justice did in his successful run for Governor in 2016.

Unfortunately for Manchin, he’s already shown his hand and it’s pretty much too late to jump off the DNC ship at this stage in the game… And even if he could, doing so would only throw him into the unenviable position of taking fire from both sides. A reality that’s already the case for the Senator: Many self-described “progressives” have long been frustrated with the Senator and talk openly about their desire to see him gone.

Tack on to this the fact that in the coming weeks, Joe’s days of riding the fence line are going to reach an abrupt end when the Senate votes on the nominee for education secretary, Supreme Court nominee, and the possible repealing of the Affordable Care Act and the man simply can’t win… not matter which path he chooses.

Speaking of healthcare, wasn’t there something in the news about EpiPens this past summer?

Oh yes, I remember now… the CEO of Mylan was accused of raising the price of the EpiPen by nearly 500 percent since 2009…  And who was she?  That’s right, Heather Bresch, Manchin’s daughter.  I’m sure that’s going to go over well with folks on the left… and the right.

With all this in mind, I think I’m going to double-down on the title of this article.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. The author was doing a fine job at stating the facts, until #4, when he started inserting his opinion! Joe Manchin will have no one to blame but himself…bottom line. Period!

    • Traitor Joe did the damage to himself !! No one did it to him, he jumped onto a bandwagon that was already stopped and brought Hillary here when the people of WV had made their feelings made very clear !! He and Tomblin better hope better hope they get good appointments to office, from Obama, and Clinton, because they will never stand a chance to win an election here in West Virginia…

  2. Jeremy, I believe your prediction is a bit premature. I vote for the person, not the party. I like Joe Manchin. It completely depends on the competition. WV has a long memory, and things are tough, but we are tougher. I can say that the Senator has always been supportive, fair, and available to West Virginians. The longer he can stay in office, the more seniority he gains, the more he can get done. I hope he runs. I would like good choices and experience on the ticket.

    • Yeah the longer he’s in there the more West Virginia jobs he can help destroy. It’s a disgrace the likes of this career crook represents a coal state. The joke is on us for putting him in there…it would be a sin for us to vote him in any longer. He’s just another Obama yes man… anything for the party regardless of what it does to the people of his state… I called him two faced Joe.. but traitor Joe is pretty good too.

  3. My dad and mom was like your grandfather. Always talked about how bad the Hoover days were. I’m sure I know my dad enough to say he would have changed parties when the democrats voter Jesus out of their convention. My mom was already changing ten years before she died. I like you article. You’re right on the spot with things.

  4. You alluded to but left out the biggy: He vetoed Constitutional Carry and suffered an near unanimous override in both houses. All to protect his buddys in the Sheriff’s association’s slush funds.

  5. Things have changed because we lost 2 great Democratic Senators BYRD and Jay…at least give Manchin a chance to do things both houses are controlled by republicans our state is in trouble but you can’t blame that on Manchin. I have faith in God to turn this country and state around. And no it isn’t TRUMP that can do that.

  6. You people in WV were stupid enough to vote Democrat, for generations, even though it was obvious that their doctrine of’soak the rich’, would eventually sink the party…now you reap what you sow…and take a lesson from Trump, don’t denigrate him…to grow the economy, you must create jobs, not take more from the existing economy, to grow entitlements.

  7. Senator Joe Manchin lost a lot of former supporters when he was pushing gun legislation. West Virginians take their Second Amendment Rights seriously. Just ask any member of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Sons of the Second, or the NRA. I of course believe Joe is looking to be appointed to a Federal position, and is not looking for an elected office.

  8. This past Tuesday was just the primary. The general election is in November. Who knows how it will turn out. Even the Libertarians are competing for all the statewide offices this year.

  9. I agree that Joe Manchin has got to go. His betrayal of the state of West Virginia has “cooked his goose” in my opinion. I’d vote for anyone over lying and betraying Joe!!! Enjoyed your article very much!

  10. Voting Republican in WV is the equilifant of getting on their merry-go-round where you have been promised there is a brass ring and you are someday soon going to be a 1% but AIN’T no such thing and their damn sure is no brass ring for WV….. What do WV folks have in common with the republican party?…The republicans are smart enough to run their merry-go-round fast so that they keep you dizzy and you won’t figure out that they don’t give a damn about you I grew up in WV and left right after college and my father told all four of his children I love WV but I will buy each of you a one way ticket out of here because there is no future here in WV…That was 1966 and no one could agree on anything…When I left they were going to build one big beautiful and safe airport half way between Huntington and Charleston hows that coming along? ALL the leaders were going to bring in manufacturing and higher paying jobs but there were no roads and the unions scared EVERY major company to leave and look else where. and they are still looking and leaving and some are coming to my state of SC. The BIG BIG problem was and is and seems like it will always be COAL and the coal operators who control all politics in WV…..COAL WAS THE PAST COAL IS THE PRESENT BUT COAL IS DAMN SURE NOT THE FUTURE OF WV..and if it is the future you are doomed to more failure and more loss of people leaving to move else where to make a living..When I saw coal miners having their picture taken with the convicted criminal Blankenship I knew right then and there doesn’t seem like there is any hope for the future of WV…I have lived in Myrtle Beach SC for more than 50 years and I have been in the Tourism business all those years and to me the two greatest assets of beautiful WV are the people and Tourism but they are still blowing the tops of of your number one asset the beautiful mountains, and the economy is still controlled and stalled by UNIONS….Joe Manichin is the best thing to happen to WV in a long time…He could very well turn out to be the number one senator in the Senate…He has the respect of large number of republican senators and is seen as a positive leader with all democrats
    Hillary was right when she said that WV needs a Marshall plan and that is the most positive thing I have ever heard for the future of my beloved home state of West Virginia. since JFK said he would come back and help us before he was killed
    If you vote republican you will be voting AGAINST Social Security, AGAINST Medicare, AGAINST controlled drug price fixing AGAINST fair Student loans AGAINST Federal Scholarships, AGAINST Veterans AGAINST infrastructure funding, AGAINST education, The republican have already voted AGAINST all of those things, but you will be voting FOR tax cuts for the very rich (trickle down economics) it will warm your led as it passes down to you legal price fixing unlimted funding of politics …No to helping drug addiction no to welfare (all blacks) but you folks in WV know better……If the democrats take the senate you will damn sure want to make sure your Senator Joe Manchin is there to fight for ALL West Virginians. YOU HAVE TO VOTE FOR JOE FOR THE FUTURE OF WEST VIRGINIA !!!!
    I don’t know Joe Manchin political views and I’m sure he doesn’t agree with me on most of what I have said but he is your best hope for the future so keep him in the senate

  11. As soon as he got in office, he started pushing for more gun control. After it failed, a few years later tried it again, which also failed. We don’t want someone who is supposed to represent the people of WV to push more federal gun control laws on us! He’s no longer serves the people of WV, instead he now serves the party leadership.

  12. I was on board with everything until you got to Trump. You’re deluding yourself if you really think he won’t become President. The silent majority is fed up with the ultra-liberal “progressivism” of the Democrat party. Unfortunately for Bernie, the game is rigged hard against him, so Hillary will be the nominee; and unfortunately for all Democrats, Hillary is despised by Republicans and by at least 50% of all Bernie supporters. That math adds up to President Trump in November.

  13. It is bad enough with some of the decisions he has made. The worse just happened when he threw his support to Hillary Clinton. It’s bad enough she is running and under investigation for her emails. Just remember West Virginians that she said, “I am going to put a lot of coal mines out of business along with the miners.” If you or one of your children or grandchildren worked in a coal mine and she is going to take away your or there job, would you vote for her?

  14. As a young man I enlisted in the Marine Corps, this was in the days of Reagan and he was building a 600 ship Navy and modernizing the Marine Corps. I naturally gravitated toward conservatism. I can remember talking to my grandfather, who lived through the depression, was a veteran of CCC and WWII, and a union millwright, and my father a union steel worker. Naïve and just starting to have an interest in politics, have an awareness of their social values, but never having discussed politics with them I was surprised that they were registered as democrats. As I tried to figure through this I started to ask them questions. They both told me how the democratic party was the party of the people; the party of the working man. I started to ask more pointed questions, “Do you believe in abortion as a form of birth control?” “No” they both said. “Do you believe in gun control?” “No” “Do you believe in gun registration?” “No” on and on through all the hot-button topics of the democratic platform of the late 70’s and early 80’s, yet both insisted they were democrats. At 19 years old I saw right there that the democratic party they initially described to me no longer existed and that it had left them behind. I think my dad came to that conclusion a few years later, I don’t think my grandfather ever did years later our conversations would occasionally turn to politics and he would snort and give the famous George Bush line, “Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES”. That was reason enough for him to continue hating republicans. Ironic when you consider it, his justification for his disdain of republicans was over a tax increase, but he still clung to the democrat label. I believe there is a shift in ideology that is taking place, James Webb made similar statements when he dropped from the race, and now there appears to be indications West Virginia is seeing the light.

  15. Sen. Manchin strongly supported Barack Obama’s election as President, and later claimed not to have had any idea that Obama had promised publicly before being elected to make it impossible to burn coal if he were elected. So, he is either profoundly ignorant, or profoundly dishonest.

  16. Food for thought what if a Democratic wins the Presidential Election and we throw Joe out who will we have to help us in other things that we might need in the Future. Joe has always been a friend and I will give him the Bennett of a Doubt I feel he was put on a spot at the time . These are my feelings I know that if there was a strike most miners would not cross the line even if they knew it was the right thing to do. Caught between a rock and a Hard spot.

  17. Sen. Joe Manchin will vote against the nuclear deal with Iran this month, a blow to deal supporters who are trying to rally enough votes to reject a disapproval resolution on the Senate floor.

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