Scissorhead 9Thousandfeet raises a very mathy question (is too a word!):
“Well, maybe if more people do read up on the impeachment process they’ll come to understand that the likelihood of today’s Senate, or any imaginable Senate that the coming mid-terms could produce, mustering a 2/3 majority to convict is somewhere between zero and almost zero.”
Mike Allen at Axios’ morning email thingie must be a secret MPS reader, as he addresses 9K’s point head-on:
…Trump knows all he will need is 34 Republican votes in Senate to save his presidency, if he were impeached by the House and tried by the Senate. It takes 67 of 100 senators to remove a president from office…
This wall would include:
- True Trump loyalists.
- Newly elected senators who credit Trump for helping them win.
- Republicans running for reelection in states Trump won by 20 or more points.
- Republicans in Trump states not up for 2020 reelection.
…An experienced Senate vote-counter, on why no one is likely to be #34 to save Trump: “If you lose 10 Rs on something like impeachment, you’re going to lose them all. I think it’s [preserve the] majority [in November] or bust.”
It’s true that in the Senate it’s rare that there is a McCain willing to be the guy who sinks the ship (or in this case, save it), so they do tend to go with herd immunity.
What I think Allen is getting at is that even the usually lock-stepped Republicans in the Senate might find themselves in an unwinnable situation (is too a word!), and in theory could go along with the majority of Senators or face the wrath of their constituents at the next ballot.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie has some info to encourage us, though it is NOT about the Senate:
A SNEAK PEEK FOR PLAYBOOKERS … DAVE WASSERMAN of the Cook Political Report just released a 22,000-word analysis of the House to his subscribers. Here’s a peek, in which he predicts a 20- to 40-seat pickup for Democrats: “The most critical phase of the battle for the House isn’t October; it’s right now. Republicans’ only hope of defying a ‘Blue Wave’ and saving their 23-seat House majority is to personally disqualify Democratic nominees on a race-by-race basis with quality opposition research. But there’s a narrow window of time to do so before the airwaves get clogged, and Republicans will need to be selective.
“The playing field of competitive races has expanded, and not in a good way for the GOP: of the 66 races in our ‘Lean’ and ‘Toss Up’ columns, Republicans are defending 62 and Democrats just four. The battlefield includes all types of places: northeastern suburbs, Sun Belt exurbs, Trump zones in the Rust Belt and unexpected locales like Little Rock, Spokane and even the coalfields of southern West Virginia.
“Many Republicans wish they could simply run on a great economy, but complain President Trump’s constant distractions won’t let them. Instead, Republicans will have to convince voters that the Democratic alternatives are unacceptable. …
“Of the 25 Republicans sitting in districts Hillary Clinton carried, only five are currently well-positioned to survive a wave: Reps. David Valadao (CA-21), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), John Katko (NY-24), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Will Hurd (TX-23). But eight others aren’t seeking reelection, and 12 others are in Toss Up or worse. Those 20 largely suburban, college-educated seats make up the bulk of the 23 seats Democrats need. …
“Democrats remain clear but not overwhelming House favorites. On the low end, it’s possible House control may not be decided until days after the election. It’s also possible a ‘Blue Wave’ could propel Democrats to historic gains, well past the 23 they need. Right now, Democrats appear poised to gain between 20 and 40 seats, with 25 to 35 the likeliest outcome.”
Still seems like a high bar to me, so I kinda go along with 9K’s position: the Senate will be hard to vote for impeachment. Not impossible, but improbable.