Less than two days before the historic impeachment vote in the U.S. Senate, two senators who were thought to be swing votes, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced they could not vote to remove the president from office.
Thus, they will vote for the president and no on the charges.
Most analysts had predicted the GOP’s Murkowski would hold the line. But Manchin was more of an educated guess. LifeZette called it. However, others thought Manchin would not defy his Senate leadership. So either he got a doomed cause waiver to help him in his home state or he’s planning a jump to the GOP. Either is possible and the party switch would not hurt him in deep red conservative West Virginia.
Murkowski’s independent libertarian-trending Alaskans probably just want the whole show over with and will have no problem with her vote.
The only remaining possible holdouts are Collins, Jones, Tester, and Romney.
Republican Susan Collins of Maine may vote guilty on one or both counts because she knows the president will win anyway and at least one guilty vote could help her in blue-leaning Maine. She could have received the done deal waiver from McConnell. The Left may also consider an anti-Trump vote a thrown bone because of her yes vote for Brett Kavanaugh.
Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama is in a hard place. He’s likely to lose this year no mater how he votes on impeachment, as he won in a fluke in 2017. However, even the slightest hope would be gone if he votes against the president. So does he vote to convict and pray the Democrats take care of him after he leaves office or does he vote with the president and hope GOP infighting once again gives him an upset victory?
Democrat Jon Tester of Montana was once considered a possible vote for the president on impeachment. But smart money now says he will vote with his party. But there’s a small chance he bucks them, which would help him in deep red Montana.
And then there’s Mittens.
Hates the president but loves his GOP Senate seat from conservative Utah. The pressure in Utah is already getting intense for him to hold up the GOP shield wall. Could vote with the president on one count and against on the other. Our call is that he sticks with the GOP on both counts.