House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on a TV appearance on Friday that he expects to lose Democratic members when the House votes on whether to impeach President Donald Trump.
CNN anchor John Berman asked Clyburn how many House Democrats he expects to lose while noting that he knows of at least two Democratic representatives who will not be voting to impeach the president.
"Well, we do expect to lose some, and that's why I said it's a conscience vote and it's with their constituents. We have a very diverse caucus," the veteran lawmaker responded.
Not whipping 'divisive' impeachment votes
Clyburn added that his office does not plan to whip up impeachment votes and acknowledged the issue is dividing House members and Americans.
"I think that when it comes to something so divisive as impeachment, we have to leave members up to their own consciences, their own constituents, and what they think is in the best interest of their love for country," he said.
He added, "So, I think it would be a bit unseemly for us to go out whipping up a vote on something like this. This is too serious, this is too much about preserving this great Republic."
Bragged about having the votes to impeach Trump in June
As Townhall noted, Clyburn's tone was significantly different this week when compared to his previous comments during an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper in June where he boasted—before the Ukraine scandal broke—that Democrats had the votes to impeach Trump and could do so when needed.
"All it takes is 218 votes to effectively impeach the president," Clyburn told Tapper at the time. "What Nancy Pelosi is trying to do and the rest of us in the House of Representatives is to develop a process by which we can efficiently move on this issue so that when we get to a vote it would be something that she calls 'iron clad,' I call 'effective.' And that's why we're trying to take our time and do this right."
Clyburn's acknowledgment this week that Democratic leaders will likely lose members of their caucus in an impeachment vote comes as several surveys have shown that swing state voters are unimpressed by the case that Democrats made against Trump. TheBlaze reported on Tuesday that the Washington Post's polling experts analyzed a dozen polls conducted in eight battleground states and found that 51 percent of voters are opposed to impeachment and 44 percent support the effort.
"Battleground state polls show a more negative reaction to the impeachment inquiry, signaling more risk to Democrats and potential benefit for Trump," the researchers noted.