Over the weekend, the major news surrounding representatives still mulling their vote on President Trump’s impeachment centered on New Jersey’s soon-to-be ex-Democrat Jeff Van Drew, who came to a career-changing “no,” with the intention to switch parties by the end of the week. But in recent days, several swing-district Democrats have come out in favor of impeaching Trump on two charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice in the historic vote expected Wednesday.
On Friday, freshmen Texas representatives Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred came out in favor of the vote, though Rio Grande Valley moderate Henry Cuellar is still on the fence. By Sunday, Utah’s only Democratic representative Ben McAdams, Colorado representative Jason Crow, and New Mexico Representative Xochitl Torres Small announced they were onboard. But Monday marked a turning point: Of the 31 Democrats representing conservative-leaning districts whose impeachment vote could shake their support in November, 16 have now come out in favor of removing President Trump. Among them are Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Gil Cisneros of California, Anthony Brindisi of New York, Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan. On Tuesday, Oklahoma’s Kendra Horn joined the list.
Of the vulnerable Dems now supporting impeachment, Slotkin, whose district favored Trump by six points in 2016, initially faced the most dissent: Though a crowd at a Monday town hall mostly supported her decision, her speech was peppered with booing from presidential supporters. The 31 swing-district Democrats will certainly expect more focused pushback: Conservative groups have identified them as the “Dirty 30” seats for Republicans to take back in the next election. (Nor will they be without support: Last week, the latest billionaire presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg announced he would give $10 million to House Democrats potentially made vulnerable by impeachment.)
As the necessary votes come in for impeachment to pass in the House, President Trump has attempted to push the narrative that the constitutional process is extremely unpopular nationwide:
But a Fox News poll released on Sunday suggests otherwise, with a slim majority of 50 percent of Americans in favor of Trump’s impeachment, with an additional 4 percent preferring that he face impeachment, but not removal from office. (Forty-one percent of those polled were against impeachment.) And yet, his approval numbers remain stable: A Quinnipiac poll released Monday had the president’s approval rating at 43 percent, the highest the Connecticut pollster had clocked Trump’s support to date.