Six months ago no one thought that a single Republican Senator would turn on Trump. Today, that doesn’t look like a sure thing.
Inspired by a Daily Beast article, and the scuttlebutt that if the impeachment vote was secret at least 30 Senators would vote to impeach Trump, I thought I would engage in a thought experiment and imagine which Senators might be most likely to vote to convict Trump.
The first one
So far, Mitt Romney has been making the most obvious gestures. Vanity Fair has a great article about how dangerous Romney could be, as he has the gravitas to get other Senators to listen to him: “Romney is the Pressure Point in the Impeachment Process”: Mitt Won’t Primary Trump–But He’s Trying to Bring Him Down
The ones with a challenging re-election
The four Senators up for re-election in 2020, and whose races are considered to be in (or near) the Toss-Up column: Martha McSally, Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, and Thom Tillis.
The ones about to retire
This one seems rather obvious, but Senators who are retiring will be thinking long and hard about impeachment being the last substantial vote they may take before they ride off into the sunset: Lamar Alexander, Mike Enzi, and Pat Roberts.
Plus a few others
Ben Sasse was pretty clear that he did not approve of Trump asking China to investigate Biden. Similarly, Rob Portman has stated that Biden did nothing wrong in Ukraine and that Trump was wrong to push other countries to investigate. Lisa Murkowski has proved that she’s willing to buck Mitch McConnell (like with her health care vote.) Joni Ernst, from Iowa, where Trump’s approval is severely underwater.
The point of this thought experiment is to think about which Senators we should be applying maximum pressure to as the House moves to impeach Trump. Who else should we add to this list?