Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he’s unsure whether he’ll vote for his party’s leader, President Barack Obama, or the likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

In a statement Friday, the West Virginia lawmaker said he had “some real differences” with both leaders, finding fault with Obama’s energy and economic policies while questioning whether Romney could understand the challenges facing ordinary people.

“I strongly believe that every American should always be rooting for our president to do well, no matter which political party that he or she might belong to,” Manchin said. “With that being said, many West Virginians believe the last 3 ½ years haven’t been good for us, but we’re hopeful that they can get better.”

Manchin, one of the more moderate Senate Democrats, has broken with his party on several issues as he seeks re-election this year. His state has backed the Republican candidate in the last three presidential elections, and Obama did not fare well in 2008. Obama lost to GOP nominee Sen. John McCain, 56-43 percent, and was overwhelmed by Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary, losing 67-26 percent.

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