In a stunning move, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced today that he will not be running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2024. This news has caused yet another headache for Democrats as they try to keep their slim majority in the Senate. Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, has been an important vote for the Democratic Party. His vote has been decisive in passing President Biden’s sweeping COVID-19 relief bill and his stance on bipartisan issues has made him a crucial ally to the President and other Democrats in the Senate. Manchin himself was surprised by the intensity of the reaction to his announcement. “This is not something I ever thought would cause such a stir,” he said in an interview. “I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I’ve been here for 14 years and felt there would be a strong, qualified Democrat to take my place who could work with both sides of the aisle.” The retirement of Joe Manchin has put the Democratic Party in a difficult position. Without his vote, Democrats can no longer count on the support of the slim majority they currently hold in the Senate. Without a bipartisan majority vote, most of President Biden’s legislation will struggle to get passed. However, there is still hope for Democrats. West Virginia is a deep-red state with a long history of supporting conservative candidates. With the lack of Republican opposition to Manchin in recent years, the Democratic Party may be able to find a new Senator that is just as conservative as Manchin and will be able to command the same level of support and respect The Mountain State. With Manchin’s retirement, the Democratic Party faces another battle in the 2022 midterms. As of now, there is no clear Democratic frontrunner in West Virginia and the Democrats have less than 2 years to find a viable candidate that can keep Joe Manchin’s seat in Democrat hands. As the race heats up, moderate and conservative Democrats need to be prepared to make a strong showing in order to keep the seat blue.