While the mainstream media has been focused on which Republican senators may cross the aisle and vote in favor of President Donald Trump’s impeachment, a handful of Senate Democrats have also been on pundits’ radars as possible party defectors.
According to a new report from The Hill, at least two Senate Democrats openly signaled on Saturday that they may be open to voting to acquit Trump.
Open to acquittal?
Those two senators, according to The Hill, are Doug Jones (D-AL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), both of whom represent states that are otherwise solidly Republican and strongly supportive of President Trump.
Jones, who faces an incredibly difficult re-election battle this November, told reporters on Saturday that while he believes the Democrat House impeachment managers make a “compelling case” for Trump’s conviction, he is nonetheless reserving judgment until he’s heard all of the counterarguments that will be put forward by Trump’s defense team.
“I’m hoping to hear the facts and the rebuttal from the president,” Jones said. “I think that’s only appropriate.”
A similar refrain was heard from Manchin on Saturday. The West Virginia Democrat stressed to reporters that he takes his oath to impartiality “very seriously.”
“I’m as impartial as I can possibly be, as I’ve always been. I’m wide open on this, and we’ll see where the facts go,” Manchin said, according to The Hill.
He also said he thinks House Dems have done a “good job” arguing their case, but he, too, is keeping an open mind until he’s heard what the president’s counsel has to say.
Crossing the aisle
While Jones and Manchin are the most likely Democrats in the Senate to side with Republicans and vote to acquit President Trump, they aren’t entirely alone. Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist identified at least four other Senate Dems who could similarly find themselves in a position to break with their party and join Republicans in voting against the president’s removal.
Chief among those named by Hemingway — as well as mentioned by The Hill — is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who, contrary to the portrayal of her as a hard-line progressive ahead of her last election, has actually displayed a surprising level of bipartisanship during her time in office thus far.
Another potential crossover vote for acquittal is Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), who is facing a tough re-election fight in Michigan, a state won by Trump in 2016 and where impeachment has become increasingly unpopular. Others who could conceivably vote to acquit are Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Tina Smith (D-MN).
Of course, only time will tell how the vote ultimately plays out. But as things stand, Trump’s chances at acquittal are looking better every day.