New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew is not only coming out against impeachment, he's coming out against being a Democrat and is expected to switch parties to the GOP before the end of the year.
Officials said Saturday that Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, a vocally anti-impeachment Democrat, will join the Republican Party in the coming days, following a Friday meeting with President Trump — delivering a political jolt to Democrats ahead of next week’s expected vote to impeach the president.
Two Democratic officials familiar with Van Drew’s discussions in recent days said they believe he has decided to switch parties. The White House meeting was confirmed by a Trump administration official and one of the Democratic officials.
Van Drew, his chief of staff and his communications director did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Van Drew, who won a previously Republican seat in 2018, has been a critical voice opposing impeachment inside the Democratic ranks, saying that the process is too divisive and comes too close to the 2020 presidential election. A member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, Van Drew has positioned himself at the rightmost flank of his party.
It's weird though, Van Drew's voting record is actually really anti-Trump. His 538 Trump Score is a low 7.1%, putting him to the left of Democrats like Jerry Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries. The DCCC recruited him to run in NJ-2, which was a district Trump carried in 2016 (South Jersey/Atlantic City). It's rated R+1, and for twenty years the district belonged to Republican Frank LoBiondo. Van Drew won by six points.
So why is he switching parties?
Because coming out against impeachment killed his re-election chances.
Van Drew and Rep. Collin C. Peterson, a veteran Minnesota Democrat who represents a much more conservative district than Van Drew’s, were the only two Democrats to vote against a House resolution in October formalizing the impeachment inquiry.
Van Drew’s decision to oppose impeachment badly alienated Democratic voters in his district, sparking a primary challenge that threatened his prospects for reelection.
A polling memo obtained by The Washington Post, citing results of a Dec. 7-10 survey of likely Democratic voters commissioned by Van Drew’s campaign, found that only 24 percent believed that he should be reelected, with 58 percent wanting another Democrat nominated for the seat.
Fine with me, saves the trouble of primary challenging him. Perhaps the DCCC could recruit somebody who isn't going to jump to Trump in the middle of his term.
He's the anti-Amash, but unlike Amash he's skipping the Independent spoiler stage and going full Trump. And Trump does love Atlantic City...