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Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced Tuesday that he will not run for governor of West Virginia and will instead remain in the Senate through 2024.

“Ultimately, I believe my role as U.S. Senator allows me to position our state for success for the rest of this century.”

Why it matters: As Democrats seek to take back the Senate in 2020, the moderate Manchin's seat would likely have been a gift to Republicans if he had opted for a gubernatorial bid. Manchin won re-election by just 3 points in 2018 as a pro-union Democrat in a heavily pro-Trump state that could easily swing Republican without an incumbent.

Context: Manchin previously served as governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010 and told CBS' "Face the Nation" in August that his team was considering a bid, stating: "I want to do what I can to help my state," per AP.

  • In a statement, Manchin spoke fondly of his time in the West Virginia executive and said that he "couldn't wait to wake up in the Governor's Mansion in the morning." Ultimately, Manchin decided that he "couldn't focus just on which job [he] enjoyed the most, but on where [he] could be the most effective."

Between the lines: Manchin is often at odds with his own party in Congress and has repeatedly voted to confirm conservative judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Manchin also endorsed Sen. Susan Collins' (R-Maine) re-election bid, despite her being key to the Democratic Party's odds of taking back the Senate.

Go deeper: Democrats sound alarm on "massive" GOP Senate advantage in 2020

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect the fact that Joe Manchin was governor of West Virginia from 2005 (not 2004).

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.