WEST VIRGINIA (WTRF)

In 2024, there will be some heated battles for US Senate seats.

One political science professor at Ohio University predicts that one of the hottest of those battles will be for the seat currently held by W.Va. Senator Joe Manchin.

Dr. Kevin Spiker says there could be a significantly crowded field of candidates.

Dr. Kevin Spiker, political science professor, Ohio University

And one possible candidate could be W.Va. Governor Jim Justice.

“Well, I think Governor Justice connects very well with West Virginians,” said Spiker.  “Whether it’s from the use of Babydog, which I think was a brilliant political tactic but I also feel was a genuine tactic. He has a very keen ability to connect with voters from West Virginia.”

But Spiker says the same is true of Senator Manchin.

He says Manchin has significant political roots and family ties in West Virginia, and he understands the state and its voters.

He says a Manchin-Justice match-up, if it happens, would be fascinating to watch.

Although it’s still almost two years out, he couldn’t begin to predict a winner.

“At this point, I would call that a toss-up,” he said.