“I’ve never been in a less productive time in my life than I am right now, in the United States Senate,” Manchin confessed in July.
Democrats hope to take back control of the Senate in 2016, but their plans could be complicated by potential retirements.
The two Democratic senators most likely to retire are Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who represent both sides of the party’s ideological spectrum.
Boxer, whose fourth term expires at the end of 2016, has a paltry $149,000 in her campaign account, less than almost every other senator facing election next year.
As the nation’s most populous state, California is expensive to cover with advertising. If Boxer decides to run for reelection, she would face a major fundraising task although she has proven herself capable in the past.
Boxer, 74, is undecided whether to serve another six years in the Senate. Her decision may rest on whether Democrats look likely to pick up the three to four seats — or five if Republicans win the White House — they need to regain the majority.
“I’m going to decide way ahead, so after this election, and then early next cycle, I’ll make that decision,” Boxer told the Associated Press in September.
She reported $3.6 million in her campaign account at the end of September 2008, two years before she last ran for reelection.