Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Voters split on eliminating the filibuster: poll OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said Democrats are feeling the weight of the troubles with as they prepare for the 2014 midterms.


Manchin, known for going against the grain of his party at times, wouldn't go so far as to say Democrats would lose control of the Senate in 2014, but he did say it would be "extremely challenging" to hold on.

He added that Republicans are using the debacle surrounding the rollout of President Obama's signature healthcare reform law to their advantage for the upcoming election cycle.

"And even the Republicans who are my friends, they think that's a great advantage they have," Manchin said in an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday. "The Democrats are right now feeling the weight of it."

"If it [healthcare reform] doesn't happen, if it becomes such a burden, if the small businesses have a burden, if now we have the large employers kicking in, and their plans are changing, and you know, all of our working unions are having some challenges, if all that doesn't come together — and that's why I keep saying that's why we need that transitional year. Sit down and work through it. Don't force it," Manchin added.

Manchin touted his bipartisan bill with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) earlier in the interview. It calls for a delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. Manchin said having a "transitional year" could help ease tensions and take the weight off of Democrats facing reelection.

"We have some very good people who are truly there, I believe, for the right reason," Manchin said of his Democratic colleagues.

"They're going to be challenged for the wrong reason."