Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Manchin Will Go Gentle into That Good Night

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate a couple of months ago. He clearly did not actually want to retire, but his odds of getting reelected were very long, so he threw in the towel. Since then, he's flirted with a third-party run on the No Labels ticket. But, presumably realizing that such a run would be even more futile than trying to hold his Senate seat, Manchin announced yesterday that he will not be mounting a bid.

It is nearly impossible to know, even with the assistance of polling data, exactly what impact these candidates would have on the presidential race if they held on until the bitter end. Something of a consensus has emerged, correct or not, that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is more likely to take votes from Donald Trump, and that Manchin was more likely to take votes from Joe Biden. So, it's probable that some Democratic operatives are breathing a little easier in response to Manchin's announcement.

Meanwhile, No Labels is having No Luck at recruiting a rockstar candidate. Manchin is out. Larry Hogan is running for the Senate. Charlie Baker is running the NCAA. They're going to be reduced to running the Associate Dogcatcher of East Cupcake, at this rate. Or, failing that, Gary Johnson, who seems to be open to running on any ticket that will have him. (Z)

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