CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It is shaping up to be the biggest U.S. Senate race in the nation, and it’s underway right here in West Virginia.

We are 13 months from the primary election and 19 months away from the 2024 general election, but this race is on.

Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) announced his entry into the GOP Senate primary on Thursday. Republican Congressmen Alex Mooney entered the race, just days after being re-elected in November.

The big question centers on incumbent Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who has yet to announce his plans.

On the streets of downtown Charleston on Friday, we spoke with dozens of people who remain undecided. But some are leaning a certain way.

“I don’t think he’s good for West Virginia,” said voter Legrant Grier in reference to Gov. Justice’s U.S. Senate run. When asked about Manchin, Grier said, “He’s more of a Republican than he is a Democrat.”

David Schles said he hopes, “Manchin runs because I don’t like Justice or Mooney,” because of their policies.

“People, I think they are tired of politics. They get worn out. I think they are just done with it for the time being,” said Tom Susman, a political analyst.

The West Virginia race is considered one of the keys to which party will control the U.S. Senate.
The other hotly contested races are in Montana and Arizona. Right now, Democrats control that body by just two votes.

As for why so many voters are undecided? Well, political analyst Tom Susman said the traditional campaign season kicks off on Labor Day, and many voters may just want to enjoy their summers, first.