Democratic Hopefuls Across Virginia Have Differing Positions on Trump Impeachment

Apr 4, 2018

Credit AP Photo / Evan Vucci

As Democrats across Virginia prepare to head to the polls in June, they will be choosing between candidates who are taking a variety of positions on impeaching President Trump.

Should President Trump be impeached? That’s a question Democrats are asking a huge field of candidates this primary season, when voters will select candidates to take on Republicans this fall. Take the eight Democrats running to take on Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. Half of them say they would like to see impeachment proceedings start. But some — like state Senator Jennifer Wexton — say Congress should take a wait and see approach, letting the special council conclude his investigation.

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says that’s a gamble.

“Voters want to vote for things more than they want to vote against things. But we are in strange political times. Donald Trump injects a phenomenon into our politics that we’ve never seen before, and so this may be the year when voters are more likely to vote against him rather than for something.”

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says Democrats who are pro-impeachment now will regret it later.

“If the Democrats nominate someone who is talking about April and May about tarring and feathering President Trump, those are words that will come back to haunt such a nominee in November.”

For a point of reference, some are looking to the 1974 congressional election, which played out against the backdrop of Watergate. In that election, Republicans lost 49 seats in the House.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.