Since Joe Manchin announced his plan to retire from the Senate, Democrats have been worried about him running as a third-party candidate against Joe Biden.

After saying that he would “absolutely” consider making a presidential run during an interview last week, there has been anxiety among Democratic senators who warn that Manchin would make a big mistake if he challenges President Biden.

From The Hill:

Democratic lawmakers say that if Manchin runs for president as an independent, it will hurt Biden’s reelection chances and could result in what they view as the nightmare scenario of electing Donald Trump to a second White House term.

Democratic senators were less concerned about a potential Manchin presidential run a few months ago, when they thought he was still likely to run for another Senate term.

Since then, Biden’s polling numbers have gotten worse in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up with Trump, who faces 91 felony charges, and Manchin has announced he will retire from the Senate after next year.

“I think it would be very, very unfortunate if Joe Manchin decided to do that,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said of a possible Manchin presidential run.

“I know he’s a supporter of President Biden and has been an important person here in the U.S. Senate in terms of getting things done. And he knows that if he were to step in [to the race] that it would make it much more likely Donald Trump would be president again, and I know Joe Manchin doesn’t want that,” Stabenow said.

Manchin, however, last week didn’t rule out the possibility of running for president on the No Labels ticket or another independent platform, telling CBS News that he has “plenty of time” to make a decision.

And he rejected fears voiced by other Democrats that he would sink Biden’s reelection if he throws his hat into the ring.

“I don’t buy that scenario,” Manchin told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell. “I’ve heard that. And — and I wouldn’t buy that scenario, because if you look back in history, how things have played out, I don’t think that they thought Ross Perot would elect Bill Clinton,” referring to three-way presidential election race in 1992.

Manchin told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker that he would “absolutely” consider a run for president.

“I will do anything I can to help my country,” he said.

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