When the Senate impeachment trial wraps up, a supermajority of 67 votes will be necessary for the president to be removed from office.
The math indicates that even if all 47 Democrats in the Senate vote to convict, 20 Republicans would still have to break ranks with their Party and their base in order for the Dem’s dream to actually materialize.
Unlike the House vote on the articles of impeachment, the Senate vote that will ultimately exonerate the president is likely to be bipartisan, with at least one Senate Democrat voting against the president’s removal.
Although attention has been focused on how so-called moderate Senate Republicans may vote, three Democrat senators may serve as potential swing votes in favor of the president.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) looms as a potential vote to acquit. Sinema has a somewhat centrist voting record, and the state that she represents went for President Trump in 2016.
The Arizona senator has not revealed what she thought about the case that was presented by House Democrats. However, as the first Democrat sent to the U.S. Senate from Arizona in 30 years, she is no doubt aware of the eyes that are fixed upon her.
Sinema voted with the GOP to confirm both Attorney General William Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. She also voted in the positive to confirm many of President Trump’s judicial nominees and to pass a bill that enhanced immigration screening and expedited the cases of those who lack valid asylum claims. Putting herself directly in the crosshairs of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party, Sinema voted against the Green New Deal.
Democrats still carry a grudge, when as a member of the House of Representatives, Sinema voted against the Iran nuclear deal that was put together in 2015 by the Obama administration.
Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is the most vulnerable Democrat senator on the ballot this year, as he seeks to win a full term after his upset victory in a 2017 special election in the solidly red state of Alabama. In 2016 Trump took the state by nearly 28 points. Jones will be seeking a full term in 2020.
The Alabama senator has voted to confirm the vast majority of the president’s judicial nominees. He has additionally voted in favor of appropriations that included border wall funding. He also voted against the Green New Deal.
An outside group aligned with President Trump has targeted Jones in an advertising campaign, which aired during the Senate impeachment trial. The ad, which is appearing on television and other digital platforms, features images of House Manager Rep. Adam Schiff, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Maxine Waters discussing impeachment.
Jones has joined other Democrats in calling for witnesses and documents to be part of the Senate trial. However, he is aware that if he votes against the president at the conclusion of the Senate trial, his upcoming election chances are likely to be negatively impacted.
The most likely of all Democrats to vote in the president’s favor is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who was once considered for a cabinet position in the Trump administration. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Displaying more support than any other Democrat senator, according to the website FiveThirtyEight, Manchin has voted with the president the majority of the time. And he, too, voted against the Green New Deal.
Not only does Manchin represent a state that President Trump won by more than 40 percentage points, he reportedly enjoys a friendly relationship with the president. He has been a guest at White House movie screenings and has lunched with the president. President Trump posed for pictures with Manchin, which were used in the senator’s 2018 campaign.
On Manchin’s urging, the president signed a bill into law in 2019 that dealt with pension and health care benefits for coal miners. After Manchin lobbied the president to do so, President Trump gave two basketball stars, Jerry West and Bob Cousy, the Medal of Freedom.
A recent Club for Growth poll of West Virginia voters indicates that almost 70 percent of those surveyed are opposed to the impeachment of the president.
Many Democrats have concerns about how Manchin will vote, but another issue may carry even more weight.
In December of 2019, Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat congressman from New Jersey, switched parties and became a Republican.
Manchin may find it’s the perfect time to follow suit.
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