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Why is this Democratic senator threatening the party’s best chance of retaking the Senate?

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The most conservative Senate Democrat endorsed one of the most liberal Senate Republicans on Thursday.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) threw his weight behind Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) as she heads for re-election in 2020.

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“If she wanted me to, I would campaign for Susan Collins,” Manchin said. “For America to lose somebody like Susan Collins would an absolute shame. I feel that strongly about her.”

Democrats are in a fierce battle for the Senate in 2020. Already three seats behind, they’ll need to flip at least four seats to win decisive control of the chamber — or at least flip three seats and win the White House, which would put a Democratic vice president in place to break any tie votes in the chamber.

Collins’ seat in Maine is one of the best prospects Democrats have of making gains.

And if Democrats win the White House in 2020 without taking control of the Senate, the president’s agenda will be essentially dead in its tracks. It would be a struggle to even get ordinary cabinet nominees approved, let alone any Supreme Court justices or crucial federal judges names, given how partisan routine appointments have become. And Democrats could forget about passing any major progressive legislation. If Collins were the 51st Republican senator in 2020, she would ensure that Mitch McConnell remains Senate majority leader, and McConnell would ensure that all Democratic priorities are thwarted.

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So why is the West Virginia senator threatening his parties chances of reclaiming the chamber?

Manchin is by far the least liberal senator, which has allowed him to hold on to his seat in the deeply conservative West Virginia, where Trump won by 42 points in 2016. But it’s hard to see why his endorsement of Collins is necessary, especially when he was just reelected. He may just have genuine affection for the Collins, who is similar to him ideologically, and little loyalty to his party, which is in many ways a liability in his campaigns.

For those bemoaning Manchin’s endorsement, though, it may be comforting to consider that it may not be particularly helpful to Collins’ reelection chances. It’s not clear how much Maine voters will care about an out-of-state Democratic senator’s point of view. If Collins’ eventual Democratic opponent can make the case that she doesn’t serve the state’s interest, she may yet be defeated.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s mental decline compared to Reagan’s hidden Alzheimer’s in brutal MSNBC assessment

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On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump's increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.

Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president's decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan's White House hid his Alzheimer's from the public.

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Mike Pence and Nikki Haley battled for attention at a GOP donor retreat: report

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Who will be President Donald Trump's successor as leader of the Republican Party?

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They have pushed back aggressively on claims that they are challenging one another for control, with Haley aggressively denying rumors that Trump was interested in swapping her in to replace Pence on the 2020 ticket.

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Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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