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WASHINGTON — Two of the House Democrats from the reddest districts in the country just announced they’d vote to impeach President Trump. It’s a huge boost for their party ahead of the third presidential impeachment in U.S. history.
Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah), a pair of freshman Democrats from deep red congressional districts, said Monday afternoon that they’d vote to impeach the president. Of the 10 freshman House Democrats in the Trumpiest districts, six have now said they’ll vote to impeach him.
“My duty is to the Constitution, and to our country,” McAdams said in a statement. “What the president did was wrong. His actions warrant accountability. I cannot turn a blind eye, thereby condoning this president and future presidents, Republican or Democrat, to do the same.”
“If I wanted to do what was easy politically, I would just vote no and move on,” Cunningham told the Charleston Post and Courier. “But it’s about doing what’s right for our country.”
As of late last week, Cunningham was still undecided and told VICE News he planned to “pray about it.”
The pair were among the handful of red-district freshman Democrats that party leaders figured would be unlikely to vote to impeach Trump. But McAdams and Cunningham are just the latest freshmen from Trump districts who announced their support — a list that includes Reps. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) and Xochitl Torres-Small (D-N.M.), both of whom hold seats that Trump won by about 10 percentage points.
Their recent announcements show how seriously these vulnerable freshmen and other Democrats view Trump’s actions toward Ukraine — and give the party a morale boost following the decision of New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew to switch over to the Republican Party. Van Drew had been one of just two Democrats opposed to impeachment and decided to leave the party rather than face a tough Democratic primary in his district.
Van Drew’s planned switch means Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is the only House Democrat who’s announced he won’t back impeachment. Not a single House Republican is supporting impeachment, though Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), a former Republican, has been vocally supportive.
Strategists think several Democrats could still break with their party: Reps. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Jared Golden (D-Maine). And they’re all freshmen from districts Trump won by double digits.
Cover image: UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 11: Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., is seen before a news conference at the House Triangle on legislation that would ban offshore drilling September 11, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)