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Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment face uncertain future in midterm

Dan Newhouse
Posted at 10:02 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 13:02:06-04

Ten House Republicans voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump in early 2021 following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Of those, just two stand for reelection next week as the other eight representatives either opted not to run for another term or lost in a primary.

Reps. Dan Newhouse of Washington and David Valadao of California won their respective midterm primaries this year. Four others, including Rep. Liz Cheney, lost in a primary.

Newhouse ran in Washington in a primary where Democrats, Republicans and independents appear on the same primary ballot, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election. Newhouse came in first, just ahead of Democrat Doug White. But Newhouse faced steep competition from Republican Loren Culp.

Newhouse is running in a district that has not elected a Democrat since 1993 and has voted for every Republican presidential candidate since 1968. According to Dave’s Redistricting, even with tweaks to the boundaries following redistricting, the district gives Republicans a 59-39 edge in the seat.

But reporting out of Washington seems to suggest that Democratic challenger Doug White could use Newhouse’s vote to his advantage. Republicans believe some conservatives won’t vote in the election, allowing White an upset win.

“For a district this red, it’s an opportunity for Democrats,” Mike Massey, chair of the Benton County Republican Party, told the Seattle Times. “If enough conservatives don’t vote, Doug White could pull out a win.”

Valadao, on the otherhand, is coming from a swing district that voted him out in 2018, only for him to regain the seat two years later. Even though Valadao won in 2020, President Joe Biden carried the district by double digits, indicating many voters put both Valadao and Biden on their ballots.

Like in Newhouse’s race, Valadao participated in a jungle primary where the top two candidates advanced. While Democrat Rudy Salas had no trouble moving to next week’s general election, Valadao edged out fellow Republican Chris Mathys to earn the second spot on the midterm ballot.

Dave’s Redistricting suggests the district is more Democratic than before, giving the party a 58-40 edge over Republicans.

Meanwhile, just one of the seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump is on next week’s ballot. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski is up for reelection. While Alaska is expected to elect a Republican, it’s not a guarantee that the Republican will be her.

Alaska uses ranked-choice voting, meaning voters will be asked for their favorite candidate among four listed. If no candidate gets a majority in the first round, the lowest-ranked candidate is eliminated until a majority is reached.

Murkowski’s top opponent is Kelly Tshibaka, who has Trump’s backing. Given the nature of ranked-choice voting, it’s not entirely clear how likely Murkowski will hold onto one of Alaska’s two Senate seats.