April 25, 2022
Democrats can rage all they want — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) seemingly isn't going anywhere. According to a new Morning Consult poll, Manchin's job approval rating among West Virginia's registered voters has jumped 16 percent since President Biden took office, by far the largest increase of any senator. In the past year, his approval rating among Republicans rose from 35 percent to 69 percent, more than enough to offset his decreased approval rating among Democrats, which fell from 63 percent to 44 percent. West Virginia's Register-Herald reported last year that there are about 4,300 more registered Republicans than registered Democrats in West Virginia. These partisan shifts likely result from Manchin's high-profile votes against Biden's Build Back Better bill and voting rights legislation, in which the centrist Democrat joined with Senate Republicans to kill two major pillars of the administration's legislative agenda. Writing for The Week, David Faris argued on Thursday that "Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his allies should make life so unbearable for Manchin and [Arizona Sen. Krysten] Sinema … that they leave the party sometime before the 2022 midterms if one last push for even a microscopic version of the Build Back Better social investment package fails because of them." Faris, however, admitted that although Democrats could likely unseat Sinema, they have little chance of primarying Manchin or of defeating him in a general election if he joins the Republican Party. Former President Donald Trump won West Virginia by nearly 40 points in 2020. The Morning Consult polls surveyed at least 2,057 registered West Virginia voters in the first quarters of 2021 and 2022 with an error margin of two percent.