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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate rejects government-wide ban on abortion funding Centrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Bipartisan group of senators will urge Trump to reopen government for 3 weeks MORE (W.Va.), a moderate Democrat won reelection last year in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values 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 Warren2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Kamala Harris staffer mocks O'Reilly for saying Harris 'lost' his vote for president Kamala Harris announces presidential campaign MORE (D-Mass.) will have a "hard time" winning West Virginia, which Trump won with 67.9 percent of the vote.


"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."