You could be forgiven if you thought all of them new House members are big on impeachment because of three outspoken freshmen who hate Trump with a passion.
They are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. But, Axios decided to find out how prevalent the impeach Trump sentiment is among the 64 Democratic freshmen and the results could surprise you.
By the numbers: Of the 64 new House Democrats:
- 48 believe Congress should wait for the Mueller report’s release before considering impeachment.
- 7 go a little further, saying that language is “not helpful.”
- 6 support impeaching the president.
- 3 have not made clear, on-record statements.
Rep. Al Green of Texas, the first member of Congress to introduce an Article of Impeachment against President Trump in 2017, confirmed this sense of hesitancy to Axios:
- “I can assure you that there is far more pressure on people who are supportive of impeachment not to impeach than there is on those who don’t favor it to impeach. Exponentially more.”
Behind the scenes: Privately, many of the new freshmen say that Trump may have committed impeachable offenses. But they also argue that impeachment doesn’t have a chance of succeeding in the Senate under Republican control, and they think, politically, the messaging could have the adverse effect if they broach the subject too soon — further animating Trump’s base ahead of 2020.
- One Democratic aide told Axios that many of the new members who flipped red districts want to take a breather before committing to a hardline message on impeachment.
The bottom line: A handful of progressive freshmen Democrats looking to push the party to the left have taken the lion’s share of the media attention devoted to their class.
- But the big picture is complicated; for every Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, there’s a Joe Cunningham and Abigail Spanberger — freshmen who claimed red seats and immediately found themselves in the NRCC’s crosshairs.
Go deeper: Here’s the spreadsheet showing my reporting on where every new House Democrat stands on impeaching Trump.