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It’s a 50-50 nation, so how does impeachment affect the political calculation?

As a reminder, there are seven states that matter in this year’s presidential election—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Those states will decide who is president. If Trump wins Minnesota or New Hampshire, he’s already won enough other states to get to 270. If our Democratic nominee wins Iowa or Ohio, we’ve already our own 270. 

So looking above, we see that we are above ground on impeachment in five of the seven states. Arizona +3, Michigan +1, Pennsylvania +3, and and Wisconsin +4. Florida is a 49-49 tie, because Florida will always be Florida, and as is usually the case, it shades red because of decimal points. Freakin’ Florida. North Carolina is 48-49, and Georgia is 47-50. 

In other words, the battleground states look like battlegrounds, and impeachment is playing exactly as you would expect in these tightly contested states. 

What about independents? Now, we know that there is no such thing as an “independent” ideology. Independent is a grab bag of Greens, Tea Partiers, whatever it is that supports Tulsi Gabbard, and apathetic voters. But Democrats like to obsess about “independents” as though they’re something to worry about. So let’s take a look at what they think:

Arizona is tied, but with the decimal edge tilting Blue, Florida -2, Georgia +9, Michigan -15, North Carolina -8, Pennsylvania -4, and Wisconsin +9.

Yeah, try to discern any kind of ideological tenet from those numbers. I mean, look beyond the seven battleground states to the rest of the country, and you can see that “independent” isn’t a thing that we can define. Things look a lot different if you look at only self-identified Democrats or Republicans. Obviously. 

Anyway, let’s look at the overall impeachment map again, because it’s the one that matters: 

Assuming Trump gets the rural electoral vote in Maine, because he will, and assuming Democrats don’t pick up the Omaha electoral vote in Nebraska (which we need to contest), and that map gives us a 289-248 electoral college victory and a Democratic president. 

Also, Iowa and Ohio are 48-49 on impeachment. So it doesn’t even hurt us in our two biggest reach states. 

What about the Senate races? Here are the GOP’s most endangered seats:

Arizona (50-48. This one will be a tight one, no matter what, but impeachment is a tiny edge for us, likely a wash)

Colorado (55-42. Loyal Trump soilder Cory Gardner is toast.)

Two seats in Georgia (impeachment 47-50)

Iowa (48-49. A reach state in the presidential race, and in the Senate map, and yet impeachment is pretty much a wash.)

Maine (58-39 in support!  Take that Susan Collins!) 

North Carolina (48-49. Another expected tight race, impeachment cuts slightly against us, barely)

Here are our most endangered Democratic-held seats:

Alabama (37-61. Doug Jones was a rental. Unless Republicans re-nominate Roy Moore, this one is a goner. Even then, might still be a goner.)

Michigan (50-48. Democrat Gary Peters is the favorite for reelection. Impeachment doesn’t hurt him.)

That’s … pretty much it.

So there’s not a single place that impeachment upends the political calculation. Everything falls exactly as you’d expect given our nation’s hardened partisan trends. 

But here’s the big intangible, that can’t be measured in polls—how much does impeachment motivate partisans? 

Because 2020 will be just like 2018—a base election. In a 50-50 country, the party that can best motivate its troops to fight hard will be the party that wins the White House and the Senate. 

Impeachment undoubtedly riles up the Trump partisans, but it also gives us, liberals, a reason to fight hard. It was a key factor in winning the 2018 elections, and the party had to deliver for us. They have, so far, in the House. 

Senate Democrats now need to take the baton and fight just as hard in the Senate. 

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