As you’re no doubt aware by now, President Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives. Democrats garnered just enough support to pass two articles of impeachment. The first being “abuse of power” and the second article being “obstruction of Congress.”
However, Democrats didn’t enjoy a completely unanimous vote to pass both articles. A handful of them either voted no or abstained entirely. These are the Dems that “defected,” why they did so, and what the future may have in store for them.
The Consistent Votes
Two Democrats gave consistent votes against both articles of impeachment; Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). Meanwhile, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) voted “present” to abstain from taking a hard stance.
Peterson has represented the 7th district of Minnesota since 1991. His district previously supported Obama for both of his terms before pivoting and backing Trump. Currently, it’s unclear whether or not Peterson will remain blue after the 2020 elections.
Drew, on the other hand, is a freshman Representative who hails from the 2nd district in New Jersey. He’s been outspoken against the impeachment movement for months. Drew’s district voted to support Trump in 2016 and he is expected to flip red after 2020.
The Mixed Bag
Gabbard, the sole Democrat to consistently voted to abstain, seems to be more of a victim of this witch hunt than anything else. According to her public statements, Gabbard wanted to vote “yes” because she believes Trump is guilty on both articles of impeachment. However, she couldn’t take a hard stance because the methodology of how the Dems arrived at their “conclusions” was rooted in tribalism and zealotry.
Rep. Jared Golden (D-MA) voted yes on the first article of “abuse of power.” However, he voted no on the “obstruction of Congress” portion. Golden’s 2nd district of Maine voted for Trump in 2016 after previously supporting Obama.
What Does the Future Hold?
As stated above, Drew is most likely changing into a Republican after the next elections conclude, while Peterson is on the fence. Golden, a freshman lawmaker, shares an uncertain future with Peterson.
Gabbard has publicly stated that she’s quitting politics altogether given that she’s not running for re-election and her presidential campaign has struggled to break 1% polling. Unfortunately, her seat is being contested by another Democrat: Sen. Kai Kahele (D-HI). In spite of exiting the political arena, Gabbard could very likely end up staying in the public light by becoming a Fox News contributor.
While the Senate prepares to deal with further impeachment proceedings, these four Democrats are under close scrutiny by their fellow party members.
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