In 2024, Manchin will be facing an electorate with a strong Republican advantage in a presidential-election year, and he probably will be doing so after a bruising primary challenge from his left. Republicans should make it clear to him that taking the West Virginia seat is their top 2024 Senate priority, not because Senator Manchin is the worst of the Democrats — he is far from that — but because he presents a target of opportunity. There is unlikely to be another seat that represents as promising a pick-up for Republicans, assuming that they apply some care and intelligence in recruiting a good candidate for the race. (That Republicans cannot always be relied upon to do such things is Senator Manchin’s great hope for survival.) Nothing personal, Senator, just business.
This would be one way to convince Senator Manchin that his best shot at staying in the Senate in 2024 is doing what he probably should have done years ago: switching to the Republican Party now. Republicans should do what they can to ease his path.
Of course, he’ll ask for the moon. Republicans will have to ask themselves how much putting a brake on the Biden-Harris runaway train is worth to them. I would guess that it will be worth quite a bit.