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Expand chart
Graphic: Danielle Alberti, Lazaro Gamio/Axios Visuals

Only two House Democrats crossed party lines to vote to oppose both articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday. Both of them are feeling the pressure of representing swing districts Trump won in 2016.

Why it matters: Dissent was low as dozens of other Democrats who represent districts that Trump won sided with impeachment, either voting their conscience or calculating it could be even politically riskier to vote no.

Who voted "no"
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who has represented Minnesota's 7th district since 1991. His district pivoted to support Trump after voting in Obama for two terms.
  • Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), a freshman Democrat in New Jersey's 2nd district who is expected to go Republican. He has voted against Trump on nearly all issues except impeachment. His district swung to support Trump in 2016 after voting in Obama for two terms.

Also worth noting: Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), a freshman, followed through on his promise to vote yes for the impeachment article accusing Trump of abusing his power — but not the second, which alleges that Trump obstructed Congress. Golden represents Maine's 2nd district, which voted for Trump in 2016 after voting in Obama for two terms.

  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), the only House Democrat to remain publicly undecided on impeachment at the 11th hour, voted "present" for both articles. She was elected to Hawaii's 2nd district in 2013, which remained blue in 2016 as a historically Democratic state.
  • Gabbard characterized her vote as "standing in the center," saying in a statement that she "could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing" — but that a vote for this impeachment would be part of a "partisan process."

The backstory: Peterson, Van Drew and Golden — the latter of which are freshman lawmakers — have publicly opposed the impeachment inquiry since October. Gabbard has introduced a resolution to censure Trump as a less severe alternative to removing him from office.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

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