Only 7 ! Republican senators are ruling out removing Donald Trump Which is, well, verrrrrrry interesting. The seven who did confirm they oppose impeachment to the Caller are: Sens. James Inhofe Oklahoma , Cindy Hyde Smith Mississippi , Thom Tillis North Carolina , Roger Wicker Mississippi , Mike Rounds South Dakota , Rob Portman Ohio and Jerry Moran Kansas . Its worth noting here that the criteria the Caller used for deciding who officially opposed impeachment and removal is relatively subjective. They say “seven senators explicitly rejected impeachment in their statement” but, for example, Portmans spokeswoman said this: “As he has said many times, Rob does not support the House Democrats impeachment inquiry.” Which isnt necessarily the same thing as opposing the impeachment and removal of Trump. Of the 46 Republican senators who didnt expressly reject impeachment, almost half 22 simply declined to comment to the Caller. Which, in and of itself, is telling! Many of the others criticized House Democrats for their impeachment inquiry but failed to rule out the possibility of voting to remove him from office if it came to that. That hesitancy to commit is born, in no small part, from Republican senators being extremely cautious amid this anything is possible administration. But its also a function of the fact that everything we have learned since the whistleblower complaint regarding Ukraine was revealed in late September is deeply concerning to any reasonably minded person. “The picture coming out of it, based on the reporting that weve seen, I would say is not a good one,” Sen. John Thune, the second ranking Republican in the Senate told CNNs Ted Barrett Wednesday morning regarding the “But I would say also that until we have a process that allows for everybody to see this in full transparency, its pretty hard to draw a hard and fast conclusions.” None of that the Caller survey, Thunes comments, Utah Sen. on how a Senate trial would work means that Trump is in serious danger of being removed from the Senate assuming the Democratic controlled House impeaches him sometime later this year or early next year . Its simply not there yet. And it may never get there! But what the Caller survey makes clear as well as all of the other hedging and silence from GOP senators is that this cake is not entirely baked just yet. And its not hard to understand why. With very, very few exceptions, Senate Republicans very much including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Ky. have a purely transactional relationship with Trump. They believe that he represents a chance to remake the federal judiciary, to remake American tax policy and the like. And they are somewhat or very afraid of crossing Trump because of his support within the base of the party and his demonstrated ability to turn voters against those who cross him. That relationship is not based on any sort of warmth or actual loyalty, however. The reason McConnell and the rest go along with Trump or refuse to say anything about his repeated abnormal behaviors in office is because he remains a force who can do things for them and hurt them if they dont. In the short term, that likely ensures a whole lot of “no comments” and “dont want to prejudge” statements. But in the medium and even long ish term, the decided lack of affection and loyalty for Trump from Senate Republicans leaves the door open to a revolt against him if and when it becomes clear that he can no longer help or hurt them. Again, that isnt going to happen tomorrow. Or next week. But there are cracks. And an environment that could be conducive to those cracks spreading.