The impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump is almost guaranteed to reach its epilogue with the House of Representatives voting on articles of impeachment, but it remains uncertain how the whole process will play out politically.
According to a new report from Politico, some Democrats fear they could lose their seats.
Vulnerable Democrats in swing districts reportedly feel abandoned by the party amid an ongoing GOP campaign against impeachment.
“Many of us have been expressing our concerns to leadership,” a Democratic lawmaker revealed to the publication.
“You don’t want to have to play catch up,” the lawmaker continued.
“Everyone knows you don’t just take a shot and sit there. It’s like someone taped our arms to our side and punched us in the face.”
Analyses have suggested that Republican Party-affiliated groups are outspending their Democratic counterparts by large margins. GOP-aligned groups have spent around $8 million on television advertisements in swing districts, slamming Democrats over impeachment, but Democrats have reportedly received little to no financial support from their party’s backers.
Democratic groups have spent around $2.7 million on television ads, $600,000 of which was spent on ads targeting Republican lawmakers and not defending vulnerable Democrats against the GOP onslaught, according to an analysis by the ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics.
Multiple GOP-aligned groups are set to spend even more money on advertisements targeting vulnerable Democrats. The Citizens United-backed Presidential Coalition, for instance, has announced that it will be spending more than $1 million on ads targeting Democrats Joe Cunningham, Elissa Slotkin, Xochitl Torres Small, and Ben McAdams.
Similarly, a non-profit with ties to House Republicans will spend $5 million on anti-impeachment ads, taking aim at 18 Democratic districts. Signaling that Democratic Party-aligned groups have other priorities, the Protect Our Care coalition launched an ad campaign promoting Democrats’ drug pricing legislation.
The facts are clear: President Trump abused his power and pressured a vulnerable ally to investigate an American citizen for his own political gain—according to his own friends.
— House Democrats (@HouseDemocrats) November 22, 2019
According to a Democratic strategist, the GOP ad campaigns are meant to put pressure on the lawmakers.
“It’s not about changing voters’ minds. It’s about pressuring Democrats,” the strategist explained.
According to GOP strategists, impeachment has helped with candidate recruitment, and voters in swing districts are “repelled” by the investigation.
In a closed-door meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi this Wednesday, a number of swing district Democrats reportedly raised the issue, asking if party leadership plans on protecting vulnerable lawmakers by launching advertisement campaigns.
Not all Democrats are waiting for the leadership to jump in, however. Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia has already spent $5,000 on digital ads, promoting her own position on impeachment and protecting herself against GOP attacks.
House Democrats are reportedly drafting four articles of impeachment against Trump, and they expect to hold a vote by Christmas.