After a lengthy meeting with President Donald Trump today, New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew announced to his staff that he is switching to the Republican party.
Van Drew is a moderate Democrat who is opposed to impeaching Trump. He is one of two Democrats who voted against opening the impeachment inquiry and has remained steadfast.
Van Drew’s congressional, campaign staff and other members of the New Jersey delegation were informed he was planning to switch parties on Saturday, according to Democratic sources.
Van Drew said, “It was supposed to be bipartisan, it was supposed to be incontrovertible. It was supposed to be something that was always on the rarest of circumstances,” Van Drew told reporters about impeachment earlier this week. “Well, it’s not bipartisan.”
Senior Democrat staff tried to reach Van Drew but he didn’t return calls or texts. Politico also received no response.
Van Drew’s district leans Republican and Van Drew helped turn it over to the Democrats. The district voted for Trump in 2016.
The stunning move comes amid new polling commissioned by Van Drew’s campaign that shows his approval ratings are underwater with Democratic voters in his district. Just 24 percent of Democratic primary voters said Van Drew deserves to be reelected to Congress, and only 28 percent said he deserves to be the Democratic nominee in next year’s election.