Murkowski Would Support Manchin Over Trump or Biden

In an intriguing twist of political alliances, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) recently declared her support for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) over either President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump in a potential 2024 electoral showdown. During an interview with Margaret Hoover on PBS’s “Firing Line,” Murkowski expressed this sentiment, pushing aside traditional partisan lines.

Murkowski, recognized for her establishment-centered voting record in the Senate, reasoned that the prospect of a Biden-Trump rematch implies that no one else is more fitting for the job. “What does that say? That we have nobody better than these two?” she questioned, addressing the hypothetical scenario of a rematch of the 2020 election.

In her eyes, a third-party candidate or a person “offering something in the middle” would be a refreshing alternative, echoing the desires of many voters in her home state. According to her, such a candidate may find immense support from individuals weary of the status quo, from which she distanced herself.

The Alaska senator, known for her cordial relationship with Manchin, sees in him a suitable person for the presidential role. She disclosed that Alaskans have been inquiring about her Democratic colleague, fueled by their shared endorsements in the past. “They’re asking because they know that I’m very close with Joe Manchin,” Murkowski shared, underscoring the Alaskan constituents’ support for the West Virginia senator.

She said, “If it’s a matchup between Biden and Trump, I know exactly where I’d go. I would go with Joe Manchin.” Murkowski highlighted that she prefers not to use her vote for the “lesser of two evils” but would champion someone she believes could do the job, clearly pitching her tent with Manchin.

However, such a change in the political dynamics will likely face substantial challenges. A hypothetical third-party run by Manchin has sparked debate about the potential election outcomes. Some Democratic senators express worries that a third-party run could draw votes away from Biden, favoring Trump. On the other hand, a Monmouth University poll suggests that Biden might still win, even with a Manchin third-party candidacy.

Murkowski, however, remains unfazed, pointing out her past endorsements for a Democrat who has been “extraordinarily helpful to me and Alaskan issues.” Yet, she acknowledged that the decision to run isn’t hers to influence, highlighting the potential implications for Manchin’s key Senate seat and the upper chamber’s balance of power.