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Manchin, Sinema and 2024

Thought Leader: Josh Kraushaar
August 14, 2022
Source: Link

By helping Democrats pass a landmark $750 billion climate, tax and health care bill, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have complicated their own re-election fortunes for 2024.

Why it matters: While Democrats have a credible chance to hold onto a narrow Senate majority this year, they’re staring at a rough political map in two years, when both of those seats are up — and when the party will also be forced to defend seats in red states like Montana and Ohio.

What we’re watching: Manchin, who enjoyed bipartisan approval as a check against the Biden White House, is now being tagged by Republicans as a supporter of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s liberal agenda.

Sinema, who already faced distrust from progressives, ultimately ensured the bill’s passage.

Zoom in: Supporting any legislation boosting clean energy won’t be an easy sell in coal-producing West Virginia. And Sinema’s vote, in tandem with her private equity push, opens up new lines of attack from her political rivals on both the left and right.

Be smart: Sinema’s vulnerabilities are more complex.

Between the lines: Sinema was concerned that penalizing private equity firms would adversely affect the small businesses they support — an issue that every other Senate Democrat facing a tough race in 2022 also agreed with. And she also used her leverage to guarantee additional funding for drought resilience, which is a major issue in arid Arizona.

The bottom line: With inflation dominating voter concerns for the midterms, it’s unlikely the climate, tax and health care bill will have a significant political impact in 2022.

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