Joe Manchin Is “Praying To God” Midterms Aren’t 50-50

( Senator Joe Manchin is making headlines again, this time for saying that he hopes the midterm elections don’t result in another 50-50 split of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.

For the first two years of President Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House, that’s been the breakdown of the two major parties in the upper chamber of Congress. That gave Democrats a technical majority, since Vice President Kamala Harris holds the deciding vote on all ties as the president of the Senate.

That actually gave Manchin, a moderate Democrat, a lot of power, since he could essentially hold the rest of the Democratic Party hostage since they needed his vote to ensure all of their plans through using budget reconciliation to avoid the filibuster.

Apparently, though, Manchin is no longer interested in having that power — and taking the blame from his party for initiatives failing or not going as far as they may have liked.

Along with Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Manchin received a lot of pressure from the Democratic Party to give in to their ultra-progressive policies. But, Manchin held firm on most of it, not allowing the party to pass the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package as they initially wished.

Instead, the two only would support a health-care and green energy bill that totaled $740 billion.

Late last week, Manchin spoke to NBC News about the upcoming midterm elections, which will decide the balance of power in both chambers of Congress. Speaking about the next Senate, Manchin said:

“I’m just praying to God it’s not 50-50 again. I’d like for Democrats to be 51-49. But, whatever happens, I hope it’s not a 50-50.”

Manchin considers himself a moderate, and has worked with various bipartisan groups to get legislation passed. This includes a package for gun control, a bill that amended how electoral votes are counted, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

But, many progressive Democrats are not big fans of Manchin because of his refusal to support Biden’s signature $3.5 trillion BBB package.

Jen Psaki, the former White House press secretary, even accused Manchin at one point of going back on his promises that he made to the president. He apparently promised behind closed doors to support a revised version of the BBB, only to say publicly that he wouldn’t do so.

At the time, Manchin said those comments from Psaki were “absolutely inexcusable.”

Manchin responded to the pressure that he’s been facing over the last two years from the Democratic Party by saying:

“it is what it is. You’ve got to do your job. But, let’s just see what happens. I think — maybe some changes.”

Recent polls have actually shown that there’s a decent shot that there is a 50-50- split in the Senate following the midterm elections. FiveThirtyEight gave that situation a 12% chance of another 50-50 split, with a 67% chance that Democrats would retain control of the Senate.

RealClearPolitics predicted an edge of 52-48 for Republicans.