The dam is bursting, the floodgates are opening, the horse is out of the barn. Choose whichever metaphor you want — the point is that news of President Trump allegedly pressuring Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden has supercharged Democratic support for impeachment proceedings — to the point that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to announce a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday afternoon.
What stands out about the latest crop of converts to the cause is how many are from swing congressional districts — the kinds of places where bringing charges against the president may be a far riskier political gamble than in safe Democratic areas, given that impeachment has consistently lacked majority support in national polls. The lack of enthusiasm from representatives in these districts is one reason House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been so unenthusiastic about triggering the procedure over Donald Trump’s alleged obstruction in the Russia investigation.
But the Ukraine story seems to be different. Here’s a running list of lawmakers joining the impeachment push.
House Democrats Newly in Favor of Impeachment
At least 20 House Democrats have expressed support for impeachment for the first time in just the past two days, bringing the total number of representatives on board to 174 Democrats out of 235, according to Politico’s running counter.
On Monday, Congresswoman Angie Craig, who represents a Minnesota district Trump carried by a point, said she is onboard with impeachment.
Later that night, seven freshman Democrats wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which they deemed Trump’s actions a possible threat to national security. Four of them — Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin, and New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill — represent districts Trump carried in 2016.
On Tuesday morning, New York’s Antonio Delgado joined the impeachment bandwagon. Delgado defeated incumbent Republican John Faso in an upstate district that voted for Trump by more than six points.
Some lawmakers appeared to be shifting on impeachment, but didn’t endorse it outright — yet. Texas’s Colin Allred said if the Trump administration doesn’t turn over the full report of the whistle-blower who alerted the government to Trump’s alleged misconduct, he would support impeachment. In 2018, Allred defeated a longtime Republican incumbent in a district that had voted for Hillary Clinton by just two points.
Later, Texas representative Lizzie Fletcher announced her support as well. Fletcher’s district narrowly voted for Clinton in 2016 but hadn’t been represented by a Democrat in Congress since 1967.
Two representatives from Nevada, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford, followed suit.
Lee’s district narrowly voted for Trump in 2016.
Haley Stevens of Michigan, who won a district that Trump carried by five points, wrote that “if investigations confirm recent reports, these actions represent impeachable offenses that threaten to undermine the integrity of our elections and jeopardize the balance of power within the federal government.”
Also on Tuesday, civil-rights icon John Lewis announced his support for impeachment from the House floor.
Other Democrats who joined the herd include New York’s Joe Morelle and Michigan’s Debbie Dingell, Tennessee’s Jim Cooper, and Florida’s Donna Shalala and Lois Frankel, Pennsylvania’s Susan Wild, and Iowa’s Cindy Axne.
As a rough measure of swing-district support, just five Democrats who represent districts Trump won in 2016 had endorsed impeachment before this week, according to Politico; now that number is up to 13 and is likely to rise.
These lawmakers’ decisions were apparently not triggered by House leadership in any way, making them all the more significant.
While most of the action was in the House on Tuesday, the Democrats’ second-in-command in the Senate, Dick Durbin, joined in as well.
Non-Democrats in Favor of Impeachment
So far, only one non-Democrat in Congress supports impeachment: Michigan representative Justin Amash, who switched his party registration from Republican to Independent earlier this year after declaring that Trump should be investigated. On Tuesday, he reiterated his call to action in an effort to nudge his erstwhile Republican colleagues.
There is no sign that any House Republicans will join Amash.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has appeared surprisingly eager to cooperate with Democrats, at least on the narrow matter of getting to the bottom of what the whistleblower actually said.
One Republican, Mitt Romney, has expressed serious consternation over Trump’s behavior.
When asked about impeachment on Tuesday — hours after Trump had mocked him on Twitter — Romney didn’t rule it out.
Some other Republicans, like Marco Rubio, have downplayed the allegations against Trump.
Democratic Presidential Candidates in Favor of Impeachment
Of the major presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Julián Castro, and Tom Steyer have previously called on Congress to impeach Trump. Pete Buttigieg has said Trump “deserves impeachment” but has stopped short of endorsing it. Bernie Sanders had also avoided a full-throated endorsement until Tuesday:
Joe Biden, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal, has so far resisted calls to impeach. But on Tuesday, he said that if the Trump administration does not cooperate with Democrats’ demands for full access to the whistle-blower’s complaint, he’s on board.
Other candidates are reaffirming their belief that Trump should face charges.