President Donald Trump and his deputies have been pressuring Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) to defect to the Republican party for months, luring him with the prospect of an easier road to reelection.
According to Politico, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) started making overtures when Van Drew first voted against an impeachment inquiry in October.
Van Drew has also been lobbied by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Trump himself.
All of them dangled Van Drew’s reelection before him, promising him that they were going to target his seat and dislodge him from the reddening district if he didn’t switch.
Many of his staffers quit as his official party switch looms.
Republicans tried to mount a similar pressure campaign against Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) who is also undecided on impeachment. Peterson maintains that he’ll remain a Democrat.
Democrats enjoy a 17-vote cushion in the House, meaning that they can afford to lose Van Drew, and even Peterson, and easily meet the threshold to impeach the President. However, Republicans will likely claim Van Drew as a victory and “proof” of the political poison of impeachment.