This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 7, 2020:
Polling results released on Monday by NMB Research showed that impeachment of the president isn’t going over well with likely voters, especially those in districts presently represented by Democrats. Specifically, voters in New York’s District 22 (represented by Democrat Anthony Brindisi), New Mexico’s District 2 (represented by Democrat Xochiti Torres Small), and South Carolina’s District 1 (represented by Democrat Joe Cunningham) now have a more unfavorable opinion of their representatives after they voted to impeach President Trump.
Additionally, the survey revealed that likely voters in those districts oppose impeachment of the president by margins even wider than the margins by which they elected President Trump in 2016. Finally, the survey reported that those likely voters in November are seeing the move to impeach the president as a “political charade.”
Those districts are just three of the 31 districts the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has been targeting since last January in its efforts to return control of the House back to the Republican Party in November. The GOP lost 40 House seats in 2018 but needs to win only 18 of them to regain control. Other seats considered vulnerable by the NRCC are those held by freshmen representatives Ben McAdams (D-Utah), Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), and Max Rose (D-N.Y.).
For their part, Democrats consider 44 seats presently held by their party to be vulnerable to flipping, including the seat held by Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). She put the best face possible on the challenge facing them last summer when she announced a “Frontline” program:
Today, we are announcing that 44 of these members have been elevated to join the Frontline program because we are determined to build a majority that lasts well into the future. Our majority hinges on these members from tough seats winning reelection in 2020, and with today’s announcement we’re sending a clear message that the DCCC will stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the fight ahead.
We only have a 17 seat majority.… I happen to come from a district that Donald Trump won. And so I know a little bit about winning in tough districts. So my job is to hang on to this majority and then, number two, to do what I can to grow it.…
So every resource, every bit of the energy and effort is going to be toward doing that.
A closer look at just one House member whose hold on his seat in November is tenuous is revealing. Representative Anthony Brindisi told his constituents back in April that “the way to win an election … is by focusing on issues that people care about. The more we can focus on issues and less on the president, the better it is for the country.” For Brindisi, the local issue that won him New York’s District 22 was Spectrum, the loathed local cable company. But that district is largely a rural area of dairy farms, one of the country’s most conservative. Voters in that district voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 15 percentage points. Brindisi won the district by just 3,900 votes out of 234,000 votes cast.
Now, the issue is impeachment, and Brindisi voted for both articles and is facing backlash.
Republicans are getting additional help from another source: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Her political action committee “Justice Democrats” is challenging Democrat incumbents who aren’t progressive enough by running candidates against them in their primaries. And she has recommended that supporters eschew supporting the DCCC and instead send their donations only to those who qualify for her label. She tweeted “If you’re a small-dollar donor, pause your donations to the DCCC and give directly to swing candidates instead.” This will stretch further the Democrat Party’s limited financial resources not only to defend their present seats from Republicans but from AOC’s PAC as well.
The Democrat impeachment of the president is not only helping the president’s reelection efforts, but is also helping Republican efforts to regain control of the House.