The last news cycle was all about GOP rebels on the witness question. But three Democrat senators, Sinema, Manchin, and Jones, are also publicly saying, or letting be known through staff leaks, that they are thinking of voting to acquit the president on one or both of the articles of impeachment before the Senate.
Regardless of witnesses or not, the GOP will likely lose 2-3 out of 53 on the votes to acquit or convict. If three Democrats break ranks it could give the GOP 52-53 for the president.
The Democrats need 67 to win. Right now and likely ahead, that is a very far away number for them.
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The telegenic Kyrsten Sinema has played it smart so far during her time in the Senate. She has a reputation as a reasonable moderate that is playing well in light red Arizona, a state that used to be deep red in its Goldwater days. If she cut the baby in half and voted to acquit on one article and guilty on the other it keeps her moderate creds and gets nobody too ticked at her.
Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been courted by the GOP to switch parties for years. On energy and cultural issues he votes GOP. On other issues he votes with Trump about a third of the time. He’s got better GOP loyalty numbers than some northeast U.S. GOP members of the House.
He is saying, and his office is spreading it loud and wide, that he could vote for the president on both articles. He could be doing this to leverage a price from the Democrats for staying in their column or doing the same with the GOP for voting to acquit. West Virginia is a deep red state, one of the deepest red in the nation. Manchin thus knows how his constituents would feel if he abandoned the president.
Though, he still has to think of his Democrat base in WV. At least, what remains of it that isn’t already supporting Trump.
Doug Jones in deep red Alabama cannot afford to vote to convict the president on impeachment and hope to stand a chance at reelection this year. He was elected on a fluke and would lose in a landslide. He is the most likely Democrat vote for the president on both counts.
The only thing that could give him pause would be the thought that he will probably lose in the fall anyway, why not vote against Trump now and hope Democrats will reward him for services when he is out of office.
That is typically how it is done in DC.