Breaking, kinda: Manchin won't run for governor

Oh, he certainly flirted with the idea of attempting to unseat Jim Justice, who flipped from Democrat to Republican before winning West Virginia’s gubernatorial race. However, Joe Manchin is going to stay put in the US Senate — to the relief of Chuck Schumer:

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin will not run for governor of West Virginia in 2020, a spokesman confirmed.

The senator, who served as governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010, stoked speculation in recent months about a possible run against Republican Gov. Jim Justice, saying in April that being governor of West Virginia is the “best job in the world.”

As Justice’s predecessor, Manchin would certainly know that. The allure of going back to his old job must have been strong, too. Manchin has expressed considerable frustration over the hyperpartisan nature of the US Senate and its inability to work together. Some of that frustration — although certainly not all of it — has been directed to his own party leadership.

Had Manchin gone back to run for governor, he’s popular enough to be a favorite to win it. However, Republicans would have an enormous advantage in any race for an open Senate seat. Unless the state party nominated a Roy Moore, it would be an almost certain flip. Manchin might be the one Democrat left who could win a statewide race in West Virginia, especially with the specters of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi hanging over a Senate seat … or for that matter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Squad, too.

Now that Manchin’s staying put, Democrats won’t have to worry about that seat for another five years. Of course, that assumes that their leftward march doesn’t convince Manchin to follow Justice’s lead and flip over to the GOP. Schumer may not be out of the woods yet in a Green New Deal Democratic Party.