By David Beard, The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Dominion Post spoke with Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday to learn more about his plan to seek out America’s “radical middle” – a term he uses with a chuckle knowing it’s an oxymoron – a huge group he says has no one speaking or fighting for it.
The conversation orbited around voter inertia and the fear that a vote for a third-party candidate is essentially a vote for the opposition. Spelling that out: A Republican may not like former President Trump but may vote for him next November anyway, thinking a third-party vote gives the election to Biden; and vice-versa for a Democrat who doesn’t care for President Biden.
Manchin acknowledged that scenario. “I think it goes both ways. … People are just fed up, kind of, with both. They don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”
And in Biden’s case, “the Democrats are just all wound up about that. … Biden’s base is not as strong as Trump’s.”
He talked about the two candidates’ weaknesses and his relationship with both. He said he tried to help Trump succeed during Trump’s first two years, to no avail. And while Manchin feels the first impeachment was mishandled and doomed – he unsuccessfully pushed to just censure Trump – in the second one, based on the Jan. 6 insurrection, guilt was more cut and dried. “The facts were overwhelming that he did what he was accused of.”