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When word hit that Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) would not just be voting against impeachment but would also be leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican, that left Democrats scrambling.
But he isn’t the only Democrat to have left the party recently.
Pennsylvania State Senator John Yudichak also left the Democratic Party on November 19, specifically calling out their movement to the left as the reason why, saying that he didn’t believe they were tolerant of opposing views. He’s becoming an Independent but says he will caucus with the Republicans; that he thinks his views will be more in line with the GOP. He’s been in the legislature for two decades so that’s a big switch.
This not only shows the movement of people away from the extreme nature of the left but it has some critical importance because it’s in the battleground state of Pennsylvania as we go into 2020.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania senate had been thought to be in possible question, that it might flip to the Democrats in 2020. Republicans now have 27 seats in the 50 seat Senate. This move now puts that possibility further out of reach. Counting Yudichak and a vacant seat, Republicans will probably get an effective 29-21 majority next year.
Yudichak’s 14th district has been Democratic for years, but flipped to President Donald Trump in 2016, their first Republican president since 1988.
Some Democratic leaders were not happy with his move.
From the Washington Times:
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, said Democrats were “extremely disappointed” to see Yudichak turn his back on their “large tent” values.
Yudichak responded that he didn’t believe Democrats had a big tent, and that “that tent is shrinking every day.”