While Republican Senators continue to wave off the case presented by House Democrats in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, the GOP is expressing concern that the impeachment battle may have a negative impact on a group of Senators who are already in tough re-election battles in 2020.
"The entire process is not to remove the President from office, it's simply to remove certain Republican Senators," said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), as he rattled off a series of states where polls show incumbent Republicans with struggling poll ratings.
"Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, Maine, and Arizona - this is absolutely an opportunity for them to over take the Senate," Scott told reporters during a break in the Trump impeachment trial.
Polling shows that GOP Senators from three of those states - Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona - have some of the worst approval/disapproval ratings in the country.
Two others, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina are also facing concerted attacks from Democratic Party groups, hoping to unseat them in November.
The five Republican senators running this autumn in states where Donald Trump has a negative net-approval rating are in an unenviable position https://t.co/c6UVOTCvRQ— The Economist (@TheEconomist) January 23, 2020
Back in Maine, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) - already in hot water for her decision to support Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh - is now seeing a prime Democratic rival, Maine House Speaker Sarah Gideon, zeroing in on her votes in the Trump impeachment trial.
While Collins is facing tough votes in the Trump trial, Gideon has been back in Maine firing away at the Maine Republican.
“Senator Collins voted with Mitch McConnell to block witnesses and evidence from the impeachment trial,” Gideon said.
In the middle of the night, Senator Collins voted ten times along party lines to refuse to allow witness and evidence in the impeachment trial. We need – and we deserve – a fair trial in the United States Senate.— Sara Gideon (@SaraGideon) January 22, 2020
Support our campaign if you agree: https://t.co/bsYU3EUcWq pic.twitter.com/ITCTaMhvoE
Bloomberg is dropping impeachment ads to target Gardner, McSally, Collins, and Tillis. https://t.co/7p1iuRVQyq— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) January 22, 2020
"She (Collins) has proven that she has won tough races in the past, but this will be her most difficult re-election," said Nathan Gonzales, an elections analyst with Roll Call, told C-SPAN earlier this week.
Also getting involved in some of these races is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is funneling some of ad money into Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Maine.
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