by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Senate Democrats unanimously opposed President Trump’s tax cuts, but several Democrats in red states are increasingly voting to approve key nominations from President Trump with a little more than six months before the election.
Four of them — Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. — voted for both Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become secretary of state and for Ric Grenell to become the ambassador to Germany after weeks of attacks from Republicans. Heitkamp made her announcement on Pompeo a week before the vote, leading to a slow stream of decisions by her colleagues that helped get the former CIA chief across the finish line.
Some Democrats defend those votes by saying senators are eventually bound to consider what their voters want back home, regardless of what they think about the president. All four of those senators are up for re-election this year. …
… Along with the four members who voted for the two nominations, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., voted for Pompeo while Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., voted for Grenell. Both of them are up for re-election as well.
All told, those six Democrats have mostly voted for Trump’s Cabinet nominees. All have voted for at least 15 of the 26 nominees, and Manchin has voted for the most, 22.