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Joe Manchin III

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Joe Manchin III
Joe Manchin.jpg
U.S. Senate, West Virginia
In office
November 15, 2010-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 5
PredecessorCarte Goodwin (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Governor of West Virginia
West Virginia Secretary of State
West Virginia State Senate
West Virginia House of Delegates
High schoolFarmington High School
Bachelor'sWest Virginia University
Date of birthAugust 24, 1947
Place of birthFarmington, WV
Net worth$7,650,050
Office website
Campaign website
Joseph Anthony (Joe) Manchin III (b. August 24, 1947, in Farmington, West Virginia) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of West Virginia. He succeeded the late Robert Byrd in a special election in 2010.

Manchin won re-election in 2012.[1] He defeated Sheirl Fletcher in the May 8, 2012 Democratic primary and faced Republican John Raese in the general election.[2]

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Manchin served as the governor of West Virginia and as the West Virginia Secretary of State.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Manchin is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.


Manchin entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship in 1965. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in business administration. He then became involved in several family-owned businesses before launching his political career.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Manchin's academic, professional and political career:[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Manchin serves on the following Senate committees[5]:


Manchin was on the following Senate committees[6]:


Political positions

Gun Control

Manchin released a tv spot in June 2013 in response to the ads the NRA ran against him for working with gun control advocates on background checks. Manchin is a member of the NRA, but supports additional gun control legislation. In his new ad, Manchin holds a rifle and says he continues to fight for gun rights as well as safer communities.[7]

Response to Navy Yard shooting

After the deadly shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard on September 16, 2013, Manchin said he would not seek to reintroduce a bill calling for expanded background checks. Despite having partnered with Sen. Pat Toomey after the Newtown school shooting, Manchin's bill lost by five votes in the Senate in April 2013.[8]

Gay Marriage

Sen. Joe Manchin is a supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act, and is opposed to gay marriage. He is one of nine Democratic senators to oppose gay marriage. His spokesman, Katie Longo, enunciated his position, saying, "Senator Manchin believes that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. His beliefs are guided by his faith, and he supports the Defense of Marriage Act."[9]

Manchin is one of only three Democratic Senators who have not voiced support for same-sex marriage, as of April 2013.[10][11]


See also: United States involvement in Syria

Manchin does not support U.S. air strikes on Syria. He said, "Given the case that has been presented to me, I believe that a military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action. I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act.”[12]


As West Virginia State Senator

Uncle's impeachment trial

As a state senator, Manchin heard the impeachment trial of his uncle, A. James Manchin, then the State Treasurer.

As Governor of West Virginia

Massey Energy

In July 2005, Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship sued then-Governor Manchin alleging that he violated his First Amendment Rights by threatening to retaliate with increased government scrutiny of his coal operations.

Sago Mine disaster

During the 2006 Sago Mine disaster of early January 2006, Manchin initially appeared to confirm reports that 12 miners had survived. These reports proved to be incorrect three hours later, when it was confirmed that only one miner survived the accident. In an early-morning press conference on January 4, Manchin acknowledged that an unintentional miscommunication had occurred with rescue teams within the mine, and stated that the incorrect information he received regarding the status of the miners was not received through official channels. Although he did not confirm the story, the press assumed he did, and no one is currently aware how the story was confirmed.

His handling of the Sago mine incident may have enhanced his popularity. In November 2006, SurveyUSA ranked him as one of the most popular governors in the country with a 74% approval rating. [13]

On February 1, 2006, Manchin ordered a stop to all coal production in the state of West Virginia pending safety checks after two more miners were killed that day in separate accidents.[14] A total of 16 West Virginia coal miners died from mining accidents in early 2006.

Iraq visit

On April 15, 2006, during an Easter visit to U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq, the governor caused a controversy by posing for photographers while signing two missiles at Balad Air Force Base. One of the messages read, "Sending you to hell, from Almost Heaven, West Virginia." He explained his intentions to the media, stating, "I just thought, 'Hey, these are people doing tremendous harm to our people.' I wanted to send them a little message."[15] After receiving several complaints, Manchin issued an apology.

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Manchin voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[16]



Heading into the primary, Manchin was endorsed by the West Virginia AFL-CIO's Committee on Political Education.[17]



See also: United States Senate elections in West Virginia, 2012

Manchin ran for re-election in 2012. He defeated Sheirl Fletcher in the May 8, 2012 Democratic primary and defeated Republican John Raese in the November 6 general election.[1][2][18]

U.S. Senate, West Virginia General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Manchin III Incumbent 60.5% 391,669
     Republican John R. Raese 36.5% 236,620
     Mountain Bob Henry Baber 3% 19,232
Total Votes 647,521
Source: West Virginia Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. Senate-West Virginia Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Manchin III Incumbent 79.9% 163,891
Sheirl Fletcher 20.1% 41,118
Total Votes 205,009

Full history


Manchin announced his intention to challenge incumbent governor Bob Wise in the 2004 Democratic Primary in May 2003; however, Wise decided not to run for re-election after a scandal, becoming the first governor not to do so since running for re-election was permitted in 1972. Manchin won both the primary and general election by large margins, and his election marked the first time that two persons of the same political party have followed one another in the governor's office since 1964.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Manchin is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Manchin raised a total of $13,862,110 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[22]

Joe Manchin III's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (West Virginia) Won $9,467,003
2004 U.S. Senate (West Virginia) Won $4,395,107
Grand Total Raised $13,862,110


Breakdown of the source of Manchin's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Manchin won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Manchin's campaign committee raised a total of $9,467,003 and spent $7,678,708.[23] This is less than the average $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[24]

Cost per vote

Manchin spent $19.61 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Manchin's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Manchin won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Manchin's campaign committee raised a total of $4,395,107 and spent $4,017,802.[25]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[26]

Manchin most often votes with:

Manchin least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Manchin is a "centrist Democratic follower," as of July 3, 2013.[27]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Manchin missed 9 of 631 roll call votes from November 2010 to April 2013. This amounts to 1.4%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[28]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Manchin paid his congressional staff a total of $1,790,208 in 2011. He ranks 2nd on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 11th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, West Virginia ranks 22nd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[29]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Manchin's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $3,614,101 and $11,686,000. That averages to $7,650,050, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth increased by 6.58% from 2010.[30]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Manchin's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $3,697,087 and $10,658,000. That averages to $7,177,543.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[31]

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Manchin ranked 53rd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[32]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Manchin ranked 53rd in the conservative rankings.[33]

Voting with party


Manchin voted with the Democratic Party 69.7% of the time, which ranked 52nd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[34]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Joe + Manchin + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Manchin and his wife, Gayle Conelly Manchin, have three children and seven grandchildren.[35]

External links



  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN "West Virginia Senate Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. 2.0 2.1 West Virginia Metro News "2012 Primary Results," May 8, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Manchin," Accessed July 3, 2013
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Joe Manchin III," Accessed October 14, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  6. Official Senate website "Committee and Subcommittee Assignments," Accessed October 14, 2011
  7. ABC News "Sen. Joe Manchin Brandishes Rifle in New Anti-NRA Ad," Accessed June 20, 2013
  8. Politico, "Post-Navy Yard, no new guns push from Joe Manchin," accessed September 17, 2013
  9. Huffingtonpost.com "Gay Marriage Rights: The 10 Democratic Senators Who Still Say No" March 2013
  10. Metro Weekly, "Bill Nelson becomes 51st senator to support same-sex marriage," accessed April 5, 2013
  11. Talking Points Memo, "Senator Tim Johnson Endorses Gay Marriage," accessed April 9, 2013
  12. Politico, "Joe Manchin, Brian Schatz ‘no’ on Syria resolution", accessed September 9, 2013
  13. APPROVAL RATINGS FOR ALL 50 GOVERNORS AS OF 11/20/06 SurveyUSA, Nov. 20, 2006
  14. Governor asks coal mines to stop production CNN, Feb. 01, 2006
  15. Governor Manchin Spends Easter In Iraq by Gabe Gutierrez, WOWK-TV, Apr. 16, 2006
  16. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  17. Herald-Dispatch "W.Va. candidates receive endorsements," March 8, 2012
  18. West Virginia Secretary of State "2012 Primary Results"
  19. Official Senate website, "Joe Manchin," accessed October 14, 2011
  20. The Hill, "Byrd's successor to take oath Tuesday," accessed October 14, 2011
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  22. Open Secrets "Donor history for Joe Manchin" Accessed April 25, 2013
  23. Open Secrets "Joe Manchin 2012 Election Cycle," accessed August 16, 2013
  24. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  25. Open Secrets "Joe Manchin 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 26, 2011
  26. OpenCongress, "Joe Manchin," Accessed August 8, 2013
  27. Gov Track "Manchin," Accessed July 3, 2013
  28. GovTrack, "Manchin," Accessed April 11, 2013
  29. LegiStorm "Joe Manchin"
  30. OpenSecrets.org, "Manchin, (D-West Virginia), 2011"
  31. OpenSecrets.org, "Manchin, (D-West VA), 2010"
  32. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  33. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  34. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  35. Official Senate website "Biography," Accessed October 14, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Carte Goodwin
U.S. Senate - West Virginia
Succeeded by