Historically, the censure is a symbolic expression of disapproval. In the current political environment, this may have electoral consequences. In his first primary, Rice was voted in with over 90% of the votes cast. Since, he has received just over 50% of the votes. This gesture and voting against former President Trump may provide a strong opportunity for a primary upset.
Rice told the AP he knew he’d likely face a difficult primary and that the impeachment vote could potentially cost him his seat: “If it does, it does,” he said. At least, this showed Rice stood behind his convictions, despite consequences. Even if it did mean “political suicide.”
Back in Rice’s home county, Dreama Perdue, the Republican chairwoman said she fielded hundreds of phone calls from people displeased with the congressman’s vote.
“The people in the district are just very, very upset that Congressman Rice would do this, knowing how much we support the president in South Carolina, and in the 7th District, and in Horry County,” Dreama Perdue told the AP. “He told me he voted his conscience. These people did not vote for you to vote your conscience; these people voted for you to support us and our district and the president.”