Aug 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Impeachment Republicans dwindle

Primary election status of House Republicans who voted for Donald Trump's impeachment
Data: Axios research; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

At least six of the ten House Republicans who voted for former President Trump's impeachment last year will not return next Congress — and that number is poised to rise.

Why it matters: The bleak political future for those who broke with the ex-president over Jan. 6 underscores how inhospitable the party has become to Trump critics.

Driving the news: Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) lost his primary on Tuesday to Trump-backed former HUD official John Gibbs, despite heavily outspending him.

The backdrop: Meijer is the second impeachment Republican to lose reelection this year.

  • Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) lost his primary in June to Trump-endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry by more than 25 points.

By the numbers: Four of the impeachment Republicans are not even trying for reelection after announcing plans to retire.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a member of the Jan. 6 committee, and Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) are all stepping down this term.
  • Kinzinger, Gonzalez and Upton faced Trump-endorsed primary foes and, in some cases, saw their paths to victory further complicated by redistricting.

What we’re watching: Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) faced primaries on Tuesday as well, and while the races remain uncalled, both appear well-positioned to advance to the general election.

  • What is less clear is whether they will advance with Democratic opponents or Trump-endorsed Republicans running to their right.

What’s next: The impeachment Republicans still standing aren’t out of the woods yet.

  • Trump-backed Harriet Hageman is favored to beat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the Jan. 6 committee vice chair, in the Aug. 16 primary.
  • Herrera Beutler, even if she gets a Democratic opponent, is in a district that voted for Trump by just 5 points in 2020 — though she would be favored to win.
  • Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), who beat several right-wing challengers, is in a district that voted for President Biden by double digits, and he faces a credible Democratic opponent in state Rep. Rudy Salas.
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