Manchin’s Money Mystery: Senator Out-raises GOP Rivals While Keeping 2024 Plans Close to the Chest

Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, is playing his cards close to his chest when it comes to his plans for 2024. Despite this, he’s raking in more campaign cash than his GOP rivals, prompting speculation about his future political ambitions.

Manchin, who is tight-lipped about his 2024 aspirations – including a potential reelection bid or even a run for the presidency, is amassing a substantial war chest. According to recent Federal Election Commission filings, the senator pulled in around $1.3 million in the second quarter of this year, boosting his total to a solid $10.8 million.

In the trio of 2024 Senate races labeled as “toss-ups” by the Cook Political Report, including Ohio, Arizona, and West Virginia, the incumbent is the one laughing all the way to the bank. Particularly in the case of Manchin, he towers over his GOP contenders in terms of campaign funds.

Competing for Manchin’s Senate spot are GOP Rep. Alex Mooney and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. While Mooney raised a respectable $411,000 and Governor Justice $935,000 during the second quarter, their numbers are overshadowed by Manchin’s million-dollar haul. Mooney’s strategy of kicking off his campaign early for the extra fundraising time doesn’t seem to have given him a decisive edge just yet.

On the GOP side, the race is heating up with Mooney launching an attack ad and website against Justice in April. Meanwhile, Justice, despite not injecting his personal wealth into the campaign yet, managed to draw notable financial support from fellow Republicans, including some Senate Republican leaders.

Manchin, often a thorn in the side of his own party due to his less-than-orthodox stance on key legislation and confirmations, still managed to gather $39,000 from Democratic campaign committees and leadership PACs in the second quarter. Interestingly, Manchin’s fundraising prowess extends to the oil and gas industry, from which he received the most contributions in 2022.

However, when it comes to grassroots support, Manchin lags behind his GOP counterparts, with only 0.33% of his donations originating from small donors – those who gave $200 or less.

As for the future, an East Carolina University poll of registered voters from late May puts Justice ahead of Manchin by 22 points and Mooney victorious by a single point. However, it’s worth noting the poll’s Credibility Interval was 3.7 percentage points.

For now, Manchin remains coy about his 2024 plans, saying, “I just want people to know I haven’t made a decision on what I’m going to do in 2024”. At a recent New Hampshire town hall, he condemned political extremism and dark money, while championing the “voice for the middle.”

As we wait for Manchin to show his hand, one thing is clear: the senator from West Virginia has some decisions to make, and his opponents are keeping a close watch.