Thirty-one House Democrats, who represent districts won by the president in 2016, face losing their seats in 2020 after betraying their moderate constituents who oppose the hyper-partisan effort to remove the president from office.
In an effort to circumvent political backlash from moderate voters ahead of their reelection bids, at least a dozen so-called moderate Democrats are devising an alternative they surmise will appease voters on both sides of the aisle as the impeachment effort goes awry.
According to Politico, a group of 12 moderate Democrats are planning to censure Trump, to express disapproval of the president’s conduct, Trump rather than vote for the partisan impeachment.
“A small group of vulnerable House Democrats is floating the longshot idea of censuring President Donald Trump instead of impeaching him, according to multiple lawmakers familiar with the conversations,” report’s Politico’s Sarah Ferris and Melanie Zanona.
“Those Democrats, all representing districts that Trump won in 2016, huddled on Monday afternoon in an 11th-hour bid to weigh additional-though unlikely – option to punish the president for his role in the Ukraine scandal as the House speeds toward an impeachment vote next week. The group of about 10 members included Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Ben McAdams (D-Utah.).”
The articles of impeachment vote slated next week on the House floor will likely seal the fate of vulnerable swing-seat caucus.
Recent polling indicates Brindsi would have a better chance of holding on to his seat by withholding his vote for impeachment.
Fifty-four percent of voters in Brindisi’s district oppose impeachment, while only 39 percent support it, according to a poll conducted last week by GOP pollster John McLaughlin Associates.
Only two swing district Democrats, Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), have so far diverged from the partisan Democrat mob and joined House Republicans in casting votes against the partisan impeachment inquiry authorization vote.
With the exception of Drew and Peterson, all so-called moderate Democrats have indicated they will stand in solidarity with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and back the articles of impeachment vote.
Though the Democrat-led House is hellbent on impeaching Trump, the Republican-led Senate is unlikely to remove him from office, leaving members in Trump-supporting districts to in a desperate position to regain confidence in their the moderate districts, particularly if public opinion continues to turn sharply against the months-long, taxpayer-funded destined to fail, impeachment charade.
If 17 Democrats, in addition to Drew and Peterson, abandon their party and decide to censure the president is more politically advantageous, the party will fail to pass the articles of impeachment.
Censure is formal disapproval that can be administered by one or both chambers of Congress. While impeachment is an expulsion remedy sanctioned by the Constitution, censure provides a public record of historically rebuking an official’s actions. The disciplinary measure does not carry material punishment like removal from office.
Pelosi has already publicly deterred House members to rule out censure.
“I think censure is just a way out. If you want to go, you gotta go,” the California Democrat told reporters in June.
“If the goods are there, you must impeach. Censure is nice, but it is not commensurate with the violations of the Constitution should we decide that’s the way to go.”
While Pelosi has repeatedly insisted Democrats will let the facts obtained during their investigations of Trump dictate whether impeachment is merited or not, Democrats have been ridiculed by conservatives for conducting “focus group” impeachment.
Despite eight weeks of witness interviews in the impeachment inquiry and hundreds of hours of testimony, the American people aren’t buying the roulette wheel of legal allegations Democrats are leveling against the president.
As a result, Democrats resorted to conducting surveys in key battleground states earlier this month to test “messages related to impeachment. Focus groups proved most of the American public, particularly independent voters, were dismissive of their effort to impeach Trump with baseless charges of “quid quo pro” and “obstruction of justice.”
To galvanize public support of their impeachment sham, the Democrats rebranded Trump’s alleged offenses, exchanging the term “quid pro quo” for “bribery” and “extortion.” Further, Trump’s impeachment is unjustifiable, Pelosi declared on Wednesday Trump should be impeached because of because his campaign alleged collusion with Russia in 2016, claims that were proven meritless by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
At least 20 GOP Senators would need to turn their backs on Trump to and vote to impeach him and none have yet to indicated they would vote for the president’s removal. Several Senate Democrats have reportedly not made up their minds on whether they will unify around convicting Trump, suggesting a vote in the Senate opposing impeachment may end up being bipartisan.
The following Democrats represent swing districts that Trump won in 2016.
Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) — Arizona’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) — Georgia’s 6th Congressional District
Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) — Illinois’ 14th Congressional District
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) — Illinois’ 17th Congressional District
Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) — Iowa’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) — Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) — Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) — Maine’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) — Michigan’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) — Michigan’s 11th Congressional District
Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) — Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) — Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) — Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) — New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) — New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) — New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) — New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) — New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) — New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) — New York’s 11th Congressional District
Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) — New York’s 18th Congressional District
Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) — New York’s 19th Congressional District
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) — New York’s 22nd Congressional District
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) — Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) — Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) — Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District
Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) — South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) — Utah’s 4th Congressional District
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) — Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) — Virginia’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) — Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District