The freshman House Democrats who gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi her gavel by flipping Trump districts in 2018 are now in the impeachment hot seat.
Seven local first-termers — New York Reps. Max Rose, Antonio Delgado, and Anthony Brindisi and New Jersey Reps. Jeff Van Drew, Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer, and Mikie Sherrill – represent districts that voted for President Trump in 2016 but swung into the Democrats’ column in the midterm election.
Now the rookies must choose which of their voters to piss off.
“The luckiest guys in America this week are probably pollsters being paid to do polls for a lot of money in [these] congressional districts,” Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf told The Post.
Van Drew, whose South Jersey district went for Trump by a 5 percent margin and who voted against opening the impeachment inquiry in October, will buck the party again when articles of impeachment reach the House floor next week. The blowback from that decision has him on the verge of joining the GOP, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Rose’s Staten Island and south Brooklyn district gave Trump a 10 percent edge over Hillary Clinton. Rose won it on a pledge to oppose Pelosi’s hyperpartisan leadership — but said Friday he will follow her and vote for both articles.
But other new Dems, who dragged their feet on supporting the inquiry and eventually fell in line, are still agonizing.
“The members in these districts may have made promises they can’t keep,” said GOP strategist Susan Del Percio.
That’s because voter turnout in midterm elections like 2018 usually boosts the party that’s out of power.
But in presidential elections, like the one looming in 2020, a president’s supporters typically return to the fold — leaving the 31 House Democratic freshmen who won Trump districts in 2018 particularly vulnerable.
For them, the impeachment vote will be a major gamble, Del Percio said.
“It will be a political calculation,” she said. “In these suburban districts … I’d be more concerned about the suburban women than the angry men.”
Gottheimer and Brindisi both seem to be seeking an escape hatch from the dilemma.
The two were part of a group of 10 Dems who floated the idea of censure, not impeachment, last week, Politico reported — a plan that went nowhere with party leadership.
For articles of impeachment to pass the House, Pelosi can afford to lose only 17 of her members’ votes.
“But if she actually loses that many, the messaging will be a problem for her,” Del Percio said.
The impeachment inquiry vote in October passed with 232 votes. A significant loss of support will be seen a pointed rebuke of Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who managed the case in their committees.
Pelosi said Thursday she won’t pressure her members.
“We are not whipping something like this,”she said. “People need to come to their own conclusions.”
Trump, though, has been wining and dining the waverers, hosting Delgado at a White House ball on Thursday and calling Gottheimer and Rose up to the podium during a Wednesday bill-signing ceremony.
“Even the Democrats can come up. What the hell,” he said.
Despite all the pressure, Sheinkopf said, November 2020 will be these Dems’ top concern.
“In many of those districts, voting for impeachment is voting to get another job,” he said.
“The question is, what’s the sanction? Is it worse to have Nancy Pelosi upset with you, or to be out of work?”
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