Although Democrats have been largely successful in displaying a united front over the impeachment of President Trump, New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew has been unabashed in voicing his displeasure with the direction of the party. According to a report originally published in the New York Times, it is expected that this displeasure will culminate in a defection from the Democratic Party, much to the joy of President Trump and his supporters:
Wow, that would be big. Always heard Jeff is very smart! https://t.co/7yDPU4N3wd
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019
Has the representative for New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district undergone an ideological transformation, or does an examination of local politics offer a better explanation?
As noted in the New York Post, Van Drew’s district sided with Donald Trump in 2016 by a margin of 5%. More revealing, however, is that recent polling data indicates that only 28% of potential primary voters want Van Drew renominated, while 58% believe it is time for a new candidate, reports Fox News.
While Van Drew, who voted against launching impeachment proceedings in October, may gain favor among Trump and Republicans for his anticipated switch, the likelihood of of his party defection has drawn the ire of Democrats. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy unsparingly vented his frustration by saying in part: “Jeff Van Drew has chosen his political career over our Constitution. Despite knowing full well that the president has abused the powers of his office, Congressman Van Drew is now willing to enable Donald Trump just to try to salvage his own election.”
H/T Fox News
A senior Democrat allegedly took an even more cynical view, reportedly telling The Hill: “This has nothing to do with impeachment and everything to do with a politician who hasn’t delivered for his constituents.”
Van Drew, however, has maintained that Democrats are “disenfranchising” millions of voters in an effort to remove Trump based on accusations that have yet to demonstrate treason or other high crimes.
Whatever Van Drew’s true motivations may be, a prospective switch to the Republican Party would yield a public relations win for Republicans, one which President Trump and his allies will no doubt capitalize upon. The New Jersey Democrat’s likely defection is also a reminder that politics, even when national in their implications, are often driven by local sentiments.
Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff