SIOUX CENTER, Iowa—The small towns that run across Iowa’s northwest corner form a district that is as politically red as it gets in America. There are vast stretches of farmland; public-school football teams pray together after games; Christian music regularly plays over the loudspeakers in shopping centers. Voters here in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District have sent Representative Steve King back to Washington every year since 2003, and 81 percent of those in Sioux County, near the district’s northwest corner, chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, a higher pro-Trump percentage than anywhere else in the state.*
Still, even some of these hard-core Republicans wouldn’t mind if Trump were impeached before Election Day 2020.
Polling suggests the president’s base nationwide is firmly opposed to impeachment, and that people’s opinions on the inquiry are split neatly along partisan lines. But at least in Sioux Center, where Republican presidential candidates regularly make pit stops during the primary season, some conservatives still feel ambivalent about Trump’s policies and character. In my conversations around town, people were skeptical that the impeachment inquiry would go anywhere, but they smiled ruefully at the fantasy of a President Mike Pence and a clean slate of Republican candidates in 2020. While voters in this area clearly preferred Trump over Clinton in 2016 and told me they have appreciated some of his work over the past two and a half years, there’s a difference between defending Trump and supporting him. However skeptical people here may be of Democrats’ motives and the likelihood of success, impeachment offers a distant dream of a return to Republican “politics as usual.”