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

2 hours ago - Technology

What a President Biden would mean for tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A Biden presidency would put the tech industry on stabler ground than it's had with President Trump. Although Biden is unlikely to rein in those Democrats who are itching to regulate the big platforms, he'll almost certainly have other, bigger priorities.

The big picture: Liberal Silicon Valley remains one of Democrats' most reliable sources for big-money donations. But a Biden win offers no guarantee that tech will be able to renew the cozy relationship it had with the Obama White House.

Virtual school is another setback for struggling retail industry

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A virtual school year will likely push retailers even closer to the brink.

Why it matters: Back-to-school season is the second-biggest revenue generating period for the retail sector, after the holidays. But retailers say typical shopping sprees will be smaller with students learning at home — another setback for their industry, which has seen a slew of store closures and bankruptcy filings since the pandemic hit.

3 hours ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.