Oct 4, 2019

Trump's Senate red wall

Expand chart
Data: Net approval via Morning Consult, election margins via Dave Leip's Election Atlas; Graphic: Axios Visuals

Every time President Trump seems to tempt fate — like inviting China on camera yesterday to investigate the Bidens — just remember that he's counting on his red wall in the Senate to save him even if he’s impeached.

The big picture: Here’s a visual look at just how strong that wall is: 51 Republican senators from states Trump won in 2016. He only needs 34 to save him from being convicted and removed from office if the House impeaches him.

  • So if Mitt Romney or Ben Sasse feel like voting to convict, they can and it wouldn’t make a difference.
  • The red wall doesn’t include Susan Collins or Cory Gardner, the two Republican senators from states that voted for Hillary Clinton (Maine and Colorado). Both are up for re-election next year.
  • They could vote to convict too, and it still wouldn’t matter.

Remember that impeachment, which only takes a majority vote in the House, doesn’t end Trump’s presidency. That only happens if two thirds of the Senate votes to convict and remove him — 67 senators if they all show up.

The catch: The wall gets weaker if you factor in Trump’s approval ratings. They’re negative in some of the states he won in 2016.

  • But even if all of those senators jumped ship — which is a stretch — he'd still have more than enough votes to block conviction. That would only change if he started to lose senators from states where he's still popular, too.

By the numbers:

  • 36 Republican senators represent Trump states where he’s still popular. 15 of them are up for re-election.
  • 15 Republican senators represent Trump states where his approval ratings are underwater, but only 5 of them are up for re-election.
  • Trump could lose 17 senators from his red wall — or 19 Republicans if Collins and Gardner were in the mix — and still stay in office.

The bottom line: Trump believes the combination of right-wing media backing + GOP senators' fear of crossing Trump voters will save him.

  • Right now, there are few noticeable cracks in this wall.

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that Martha McSally is up for election to hold on to her seat in 2020.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.