Is Joe Manchin Trump's Secret Weapon?
The WV Senator is flirting with an independent Presidential campaign that would help Trump win
Everyone holds strong (and understandable) feelings about CNN’s decision to host a town hall with Donald Trump. I’ve laid out my thoughts here regarding CNN’s decision on the most recent episode of Pod Save America (TL;DR: No one should be surprised that a ratings/revenue-starved corporation tried to get ratings/revenue, but we all deserve better).
But the most important takeaway is that Donald Trump is even more dangerous and deranged than before and has a very, very real shot of becoming the next President of the United States. I know it seems impossible. Trump is a twice-impeached, criminally indicted buffoon who incited a violent insurrection and was held liable for sexual assault last week. Are our brains so Internet-addled that we’ve already bleached away the terrible stain of his presidency?
Still, Joe Biden is a slight favorite in a rematch against Trump. Incumbents usually win and Biden has a strong record on which to run and a compelling argument against Trump — one that was quite successful in 2022. But — and it’s a big but — because of the Republican advantage in the Electoral College, any Republican nominee — even Trump — starts on the five-yard line.
If we don’t do the hard work of persuading the anti-MAGA majority in the country and in the battleground states to vote, Donald Trump could win.
There is one obvious way that Trump could win. It keeps me up at night because it’s how he won in 2016. It’s staring us all in the face — a third-party candidate. And specifically, a third-party candidate named Joe Manchin.