“a tough vote for folks like me”
The nine week corruption and bribery trial of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is now approaching its final phase: jury deliberations. With that, the pressure to work through the possible ramifications of a guilty verdict on the Senate Democratic Conference has kicked up another gear. A guilty verdict for Senator Menendez could set the Senate down a path where they would hold a vote to expel the now-felon Menendez.
This would create a difficult situation for the many red state Democrats up for re-election next year. Voting to keep a felon in the Senate is a hard vote to explain to your constituents back home, a fact one anonymous 2018 Senate Democrat acknowledged to Politico:
“‘I don’t know if we’d be in a hurry to get rid of Bob,’ said a Senate Democrat who is up for reelection in 2018. ‘It would be a tough vote for folks like me, but I think the rest of the caucus would stick with him.'”
As the Menendez jury deliberates in Newark, there will be ten very anxious Senate Democrats holding their breath. The stark reality of this “tough vote” is what awaits them all.