Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Murkowski Would Support Manchin

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that in a race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, she would vote for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is a potential candidate for the No Labels Party. Of course, Manchin hasn't said that he will run on the No Labels ticket, assuming they actually launch a full-blown party and campaign. Still, it is rare for a sitting senator to openly support someone from the other party, even if that person is running on a centrist ticket. She also said that she doesn't want to vote for the lesser of two evils. She wants to be proactive and support someone she thinks would be a good president. She thinks Manchin fits the bill.

Murkowski also said that some of her constituents have asked her to try to talk Manchin into running for president. She rebuffed them by saying: "That's not for me to do." But she is intrigued by the idea of a third party. Separate from that, it is also true that Murkowski and Manchin are close personal friends, possibly the only cross-party friendship in the Senate that is genuine. They have also each endorsed the other one in their respective reelection races, a rarity in the modern super-polarized Senate.

When a reporter asked Murkowski about the possibility of a vote for Manchin being a vote for Trump (whom she detests), she backed off a little and said she would have to think about it then. For Murkowski, crunch time comes if it is Biden vs. Trump and Manchin just runs for reelection. Sure, she can endorse him for reelection, but does she skip the top race on the Alaska ballot, leave it blank, and just vote for the House seat and lower down? (V)

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