Sunday, November 8, 2009

The List Within The List

I'm going to produce a subset of the Democrats voting for Bart Stupak's nonsense that I think has some relevance. These are Representatives who
What is the significance of this list? You might think that only the first two questions would give you a list of Representatives who were given everything they wanted on choice, yet still didn't view this as a "trade" that would lead them to support the final bill. But there are about a dozen Democrats from especially conservative districts that tend to vote against Democratic leadership even on some straightforward procedural votes. I'm not sure what they're there for, maybe votes to raise the minimum wage. Anyway, here's the list of truly inexcusables. I've ordered these thirteen members based on the PVI of the members' districts. Representatives in italics held a NARAL or Planned Parenthood rating other than zero; they're at least "sort of" pro-choice. Note that John Boccieri and Harry Teague don't have any interest group record in project vote smart.
  • Barrow, GA-12, D+1
  • Boccieri, OH-16 R+4
  • McIntyre, NC-07, R+5
  • Altmire, PA-04 R+6
  • Holden, PA-17 R+6
  • Shuler, NC-11 R+6
  • Tanner, TN-08 R+6
  • Teague, NM-02 R+6
  • Peterson, MN-05 R+7
  • Ross, AR-04 R+7
  • Chandler, KY-06, R+9
  • Gordon, TN-06, R+13
  • Skelton, MO-4 R+14
  • Matheson, UT-02 R+15
All of these men—and I emphasize that because of their decision to throw women's health under the bus without giving up anything in return—represent districts with at least a slight GOP lean. Barack Obama probably won less than half of these districts; in a 50-50 election, they would have to run 5-10 points ahead of the President.

But that's okay. A quality Democratic challenger with strong local connections runs on average about 5 points ahead of a Presidential candidate. John Boccieri should be winning his R+4 district in most years. Let's re-sort the list based on each member's share of the vote in 2008.
  • Tanner, TN-08 unopposed
  • Ross, AR-04 86.2%
  • Peterson, MN-05 72.3%
  • McIntyre, NC-07, 68.8%
  • Barrow, GA-12, 66.0%
  • Skelton, MO-4 65.9%
  • Chandler, KY-06 64.7%
  • Holden, PA-17 63.8%
  • Matheson, UT-02 63.3%
  • Shuler, NC-11 62.0%
  • Altmire, PA-04 55.9%
  • Teague, NM-02 55.8%
  • Boccieri, OH-16, 54.0%
For the most part, these guys look pretty safe. Nine of the thirteen, and eight of the semi-pro-choicers would have won a 50-50 election by more than ten points. Still, even if those eight had voted against the Stupak along with the remaining pro-choice Republicans—Biggert, Castle, Frelinghuysen, Kirk, and Dent—the Stupak amendment would have 207 "No" votes, which is still not enough.
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