When the Antisemitic Awareness Act passed the House overwhelmingly Wednesday night 320-91, one of the 70 Democratic no votes came from local U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.)

Even outspoken Montgomery County progressive Rep. Madeleine Dean voted with the majority for the bill, which would require the federal Education Department to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism when it enforces laws against discrimination.

According to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), the definition would also include calls for the destruction of Israel.

“When you hear ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ that is calling for the eradication of Jews and the state of Israel,” Lawler told CBS News.

The overwhelming support from Democrats surprised some political observers, given reports earlier in the week of hostility toward the legislation as a GOP stunt designed to divide the party. In December, more than 100 Democrats refused to support a Republican bill that equated anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

What happened? Political observers say the anti-Israel and sometimes antisemitic protests on campuses like the University of Pennsylvania have shifted the politics for Democrats. “House and Senate Democrats’ anxiety is spiking as pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses around the country kick into overdrive,” Axios reports.

Hundreds of students and off-campus protesters have been arrested in the past 72 hours, and scenes of violence are filling cable TV coverage. Not seen on TV addressing the issue: President Joe Biden.

Republicans appear to believe the issue is hurting Democrats.

The National Senate Republican Committee has dropped an ad in Pennsylvania tying Sen. Bob Casey Jr.’s (D-Pa.) support of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan with the protests on campus.

“It’s an adroit way to again tie Joe Biden’s failures to Sen. Casey,” Christopher Nicholas, a longtime Pennsylvania Republican consultant, told DVJournal. “And it is a novel approach to this whole student protest in a riot situation. Let’s see if it forces cautious Casey to actually respond.”

Casey is in a tight reelection battle against Republican challenger Dave McCormick, who has made support of Israel a key point of his campaign.

Casey co-sponsored the Senate version of the Antisemitism Awareness Act. Interestingly, he was not a co-sponsor when the bill was initially introduced last year.

On Wednesday afternoon, McCormick visited the pro-Palestine encampment at Penn. He took to social media to call for its removal.

“You see just how horrific it is and how destructive it is to learning,” McCormick said. “You can have freedom of speech, but that shouldn’t mean you can incite violence. If the university won’t take down this tent city and take disciplinary action on those who are violating the rules, then the city should do that.”

Both Bucks County Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) and Chester County Democrat Rep. Chrissy Houlahan voted for the antisemitism bill Wednesday night. Asked about her vote, Houlahan defended the rights of students to protest as long as they remained peaceful. When demonstrators cross the line, she said, then police should become involved.

“Protesters — be they students or anyone else — should expect that arrest and physical removal are possibilities because obstruction, destruction, trespassing, and hate speech are criminal offenses,” Houlahan said in a statement. She also condemned Hamas for the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“Palestinians need new representation, free from the terror of Hamas. While the question of their representation has not yet been answered, we know Hamas can play no role in the future of the Palestinian people.”

Delaware Valley Democrats have a mixed record on votes regarding Israel and antisemitism.

While all three voted for the massive foreign aid deal that included support to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, they voted against a previous stand-alone bill for Israeli military aid.

They also voted “present” on the December resolution that condemned antisemitism in the U.S. Houlahan, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, said she did not believe a nonbinding resolution worked.

Scanlon drew heat in November when she signed a controversial letter calling for a ceasefire and condemning Israel’s military and accusing it of “grave violations against children.” The letter was penned by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), among other Democrats, and did not call for the release of Israeli hostages,

And earlier this month, Dean joined some of the loudest anti-Israel voices in Congress in a public letter urging Biden to cut off U.S. military support to Israel if the Jewish nation didn’t meet Democrats’ standards for protecting civilians.

The April 5 letter was signed by 40 Democrats, including prominent pro-Palestine progressives like Reps. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).