Manchin: Dems need 'a realist and centrist' to win presidency in 2020

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Labor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners MORE (W.Va.), a moderate Democrat won reelection last year in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE carried by a wide margin in 2016, said on Tuesday he believes Democrats need "a realist and centrist" candidate to win the presidency in 2020.

Manchin on "CNN Newsroom" said progressives like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Mass.) will have a "hard time" winning West Virginia, which Trump won with 67.9 percent of the vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

"You’re going to have to have someone that’s a realist and centrist," Manchin said. "West Virginia is not going to accept the extremes."

"Here’s a state, my little state of West Virginia, has benefited percentage-wise from more Democratic policies over the years ... but yet it’s a state that’s flipped and voted most for President Trump," he said.

Sixty-one percent of West Virginia voters polled viewed Trump favorably in December, according to Morning Consult data, while 35 percent disapproved of him. When he took office in January 2017, 62 percent said they approved of him, compared to 25 percent who disapproved.

"If I was running for president, I want to know: How do I go to an area and find out why people who are voting against their own best interests will continue to do so at a detriment to themselves and their family?" Manchin said on CNN. "If you want to know why national politics and national Democrats aren’t winning in rural America, come to West Virginia."