Apr 3, 2018

Democrats don't want Tom Steyer's impeachment guide

Tom Steyer at a town-hall event. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Democratic Party's civil war between its far-left progressives and moderates is about to get more intense. Tom Steyer's Need To Impeach organization just mailed 5,171 candidates a guide to impeachment to reference while campaigning.

"Neither the establishment nor Democratic leadership is going to be providing this type of information to federal candidates," said Kevin Mack, lead strategist at Need To Impeach. But that's the issue: Democrats increasingly believe moderate platforms and candidates — not progressives calling to remove the president — will help them take back the House of Representatives in November.

Big picture: That thinking is reflected in everything from the DCCC helping candidates fight for more than 100 GOP-held seats this cycle to the topics candidates are advised to talk about, like the economy and health care. Impeachment is not on the list of talking points, yet all Democratic, Independent, and third-party candidates running for office in 2018 will receive an impeachment guide.

"We think avoiding impeachment is a strategic mistake. It’s what fires up the Democratic base."
— Kevin Mack, lead strategist at Need To Impeach

But D.C. Democrats have privately complained about what they think is an unhelpful, out-of-touch strategy from Steyer. To add to it, Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi have publicly called it a distraction (though Steyer, like his team, thinks they're "dead wrong.")

What they're saying: "One of the worst things we can do for the cause of getting rid of Donald Trump is tell the American public that we've already concluded he should be impeached before the Mueller investigation shows us its findings," said a Democratic strategist.

  • Moderate Democratic candidates aren't even bringing up President Trump when talking about their campaign platform, said Kristen Hawn, who works with the Blue Dog Democrats as a political strategist.
  • "Trump is motivating people to get out and use these midterms as a proxy vote against him," she said, but that doesn't mean candidates should stray from the issues voters care about. "The national rhetoric around Trump really hasn’t become a factor in our races."

The impeachment guide is at least self-aware. "Shouldn’t we want Democrats talking about their policy priorities and how they will actually help people if we want to take back one or both houses of Congress?" it says in the FAQ section.

Steyer's group argues impeachment is one of the issues, like health care and the economy, that voters do care about, and they point to this Quinnipiac survey in which 76% of Democratic voters support impeachment.

Bottom line: It's hard to deny the significance of Steyer's impeachment campaign, which now has more than 5 million supporters. But many Democratic candidates, especially those running in Republican districts, will more than likely ignore the impeachment guide they'll find in their mailboxes in the coming weeks.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,400

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,400 in the U.S. on Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest week, between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. should expect to see deaths continue to rise in this period.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,197,405 — Total deaths: 64,606 — Total recoveries: 246,152Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 308,850 — Total deaths: 8,407 — Total recoveries: 14,652Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Health