Joe Manchin is a 'dead man walking' in West Virginia Senate race, former Obama adviser Axelrod says

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is less of a potential third-party candidate in 2024 and more of a "dead man walking," according to David Axelrod, a CNN commentator who served as the senior political adviser to former President Barack Obama.

Running as a third-party candidate may be "a graceful exit for him" because Manchin's chances of reelection to the Senate are slim, Axelrod said Monday on CNN.

"I don’t want to be unkind to Senator Manchin, but he’s kind of dead man walking in West Virginia. There’s nowhere for him to go,” he said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says "we cannot add fuel to the inflation fire" amid rising consumer prices.

A recent East Carolina University poll shows Manchin trailing Gov. Jim Justice by 22 points and Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., by 1 point in a hypothetical matchup for the U.S. Senate primary in the state.

"He’s got a popular Republican governor in the state that Donald Trump carried by almost 40 points. He didn’t win by very much last time. So he knows that he can’t win reelection in that state," Axelrod said. 

Manchin has said he will decide at the end of the year whether he's running for reelection to the Senate or considering a bid for the White House, and he hasn't ruled out campaigning as a third-party candidate.

"You better have Plan B because if Plan A shows that we're going to the far reaches of both sides, the far left and the far right," Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday." He said people don't want to go to the far left or the far right. "They want to be governed from the middle."

Joe Manchin for president?:West Virginia senator continues to mull a third-party bid

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