The history of presidential elections in the United States has been unpredictable at times. When a third party or an individual candidate decides to run for the presidency outside of the traditional party system, it often causes a dilemma for the American public and media. With the 2020 election right around the corner, there has been rising speculation that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin may decide to take a shot at the presidency in the upcoming election. Such a run could potentially lead to speculation over whether Manchin could potentially be a “spoiler” in the election and tilt it in favor of the incumbent, Donald Trump.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat, currently sits in the United States Senate as one of the few representatives from West Virginia. Manchin has recently stated that he is considering a run for President as an independent candidate. This announcement has caused a spike in interest in the West Virginia Senator, who many view as an unlikely spoiler in the Presidential election.
When it comes to assessing Manchin’s chances of success as an independent candidate, it is important to consider his impact from multiple angles. Manchin could certainly possibly attract some voters away from the Democratic Party, the party he has historically identified with. While this could be consequential, it is doubtful that Manchin would be able to swing the election away from the Democratic nominee.
Instead, Manchin’s candidacy could possibly draw some Republican voters away from Trump’s camp. This could potentially lead to some Republican-leaning congressional and state races being competitive and possibly competitive enough to flip them blue. However, Manchin’s impact may be even more pronounced in states that are leaning Democratic but are still considered somewhat close. In such states, Manchin could possibly peel away enough votes from the Democratic nominee to allow Trump an edge.
Ultimately, it is hard to tell until the election which direction Manchin’s candidacy would take the election and whether or not it would facilitate a Trump victory. Needless to say, the attention on Manchin has intensified and it will remain an interesting factor in the election come November. While Manchin could draw away some votes from either party, ultimately it’s hard to tell whether he would actually turn the tide of the election away from the Democratic nominee and into the hands of the incumbent President.