Vulnerable House Democrats were lauded by colleagues as heroes Tuesday for falling in line to vote to oust President Trump this week for alleged misconduct.
The same members that helped get Democrats the majority also are also the key to impeachment, ramping up the pressure on their reelection prospects — particularly for those from 31 districts President Trump won in 2016.
“I’m very concerned about my colleagues. But most of all I greatly admire their positions,” Rep. Norma Torres told The Washington Times. “I can’t say that I respect and admire a lot of people in this place, but I certainly feel both of those things for several of my colleagues that are front-line members.”
As of early afternoon Tuesday, all but a handful of those members from Trump-won districts have publicly committed to supporting the articles of impeachment.
Only one — Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who is leaving the Democratic Party — has committed to voting against impeachment.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who made her decision official Monday, told reporters that there’s been “an acknowledgment” both for those that pushed for an impeachment inquiry from the early stages and those, like her, who are taking tough votes.
Democratic leaders have publicly said they were not going to formally rally the troops, known as “whipping” the vote, on impeachment.
While the party appears to be united ahead of Wednesday’s vote, the political risk isn’t lost on these members from deeply divided districts.
“It’s a lose-lose,” one Democratic lawmaker told The Times, noting how divided the country is on the issue.
The latest polling data from multiple sources show that the country remains virtually split on the issue, if not starting to lean against impeachment.
“We’re 50-50 country divided on a whole host of issues. And we’ve decided to proceed based on constitutional responsibility,” said Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries. “We’re not concerned with poll numbers. We’re not concerned with the political implications. We’re not concerned with the impact of the 2020 election. We’re concerned with the Constitution — we’re concerned with abuse of power.”