Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Joe Manchin Announces Reregistration as Independent

State of the Union: Does the West Virginia Senator intend to run for re-election?
Biden Holds Ceremonial Swearing In Of New Dem. Senators Coons And Manchin
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and then-Vice President Joe Biden before Manchin's ceremonial swearing in inside the Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol November 15, 2010. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Friday morning, West Virginia’s Senator Joe Manchin released a post on his X account announcing that he is registering as an Independent, rather than as a Democrat.

[Embed: https://x.com/Sen_JoeManchin/status/1796547335767671199]

In a follow-up video, Manchin listed political polarization as the reason for the change, stating that the “brands” of the political parties have “gotten so bad” that “if you have a D by your name, you’re supposed to hate Republicans.” Manchin elaborated that he wanted to work above partisan affiliation, stating that “the American brand is the brand that I carry”

Though Manchin has said in the past that he intends to retire and will not be running for re-election this fall, this move has created speculation that he may intend to run for re-election to his Senate seat as an independent. Manchin would be running against current Republican Governor Jim Justice, who won the Republican primary for the Senate seat earlier in May against Congressman Alex Mooney.  Manchin’s disaffiliation will likely not have any immediate political impact on the composition or workings of the Senate, as he has stated that he will still caucus with the Democrats. As of the time of writing, Manchin still lists himself as Chairman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, which Democrats control.