Of the 53 Senate Republicans, only three have chosen not to give their support to President Trump during the Democratic House-led impeachment inquiry, leaving the door open for them to possibly vote to convict the president should the inquiry reach a trial status.
Even though impeachment has not yet received an official vote, GOP Senators Mitt Romney (UT), Susan Collins (ME), and Lisa Murkowski (AK) have refused to sign the resolution denouncing the House Democratic effort.
Romney and Collins have faced harsh criticism for breaking party lines with their refusal to support the president, but Murkowski is seeing positive results with voters in Alaska, which, according to political experts, is accepted because her state tends to reward their state politicians who have independent tendencies.
In addition, these experts indicate that the Alaskan lawmaker can, apparently, step out of line with Trump’s beliefs, as she only votes with the president 75% of the time, but still be supported by Republican voters in Alaska.
“As far as supporting or opposing the president, we support individualism and we support individual freedom of expression. And that goes for our politicians, too, whatever party they are,” said Tuckerman Babcock, former chairman of the Alaska GOP. “Republicans here may disagree with her on certain things, but I can say safely that they respect her independence of judgment.”
Voters in Alaska are confident of her abilities, according to Meek, of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “She’ll be able to do her homework, as she always does, remain cautious, follow the facts. When the time comes, (she’ll) make a strategic decision about whether the alleged abuse of power is important enough for her to take on that she’ll have a lot of national Republicans coming after her.”
Meanwhile, her colleagues are not receiving the same support from their voters. Romney reported being isolated from his fellow Senate Republicans as well as GOP voters in his own state. Those party members told NBC News that they strongly disapproved of his condescending remarks directed at Trump and his passive reception of the House impeachment inquiry.
Collins, too, is getting strong backlash from voters in Maine, which is amplified due to the fact that she is up for re-election next year.
In addition, Collins is a key player for the Democrats, as they attempt to flip the GOP-controlled Senate. They see her support for Trump as weak and think they can sway her. While she did say that Trump’s request for China to investigate Biden was “completely inappropriate,” she refuses to state her position on impeachment, as she may potentially be asked to serve as a juror during a future Senate trial. It is to be noted that her once “sky-high” likability ratings have since fallen with her lack of support for Trump.
Taking the position not to support the president during the impeachment inquiry and/or trial has already begun to turn many unhappy conservatives who want to see their representatives defend the president from the impeachment inquiry. The voters are not getting what they want from these lawmakers, and they are not happy, which will surely be revealed in the polls.