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.


ikl said...

Teague voted for the climate change bill despite having oil and gas interests in his district and facing a really tough reelection battle against the previous US Rep who held his seat (Steve Peirce) who gave up the seat to run for the Senate. He should probably get a pass until 2012.

Shuler (who I am really not a fan of) also voted for the climate change bill.

So this list is a bit more of a mixed bag than you paint it as. Some of these folks do seem unless, but most of the realy unless ones represent very red districts . . .

Neil Sinhababu said...

Is there really a reason to give the previous question noes a free pass here? Seems to me that they should be on the shit list too.

Collin Peterson, the Agriculture Committee chair who was robber baroning climate change stuff, voted no on previous question and thus isn't on the list. Tim Holden, who would likely replace him if he somehow got taken out, is on the list. This makes Holden seem like a better guy to me than Peterson, even if both are pretty bad.

Especially given that Peterson is a chair. Dude, you're leadership. Don't vote no on previous question.

Neil Sinhababu said...

I am inclined to take ikl's comment in the spirit of "Nancy Pelosi is awesome, she recognizes that she can only get so much out of each Blue Dog and gets just enough."

ikl said...

Well, Peterson woud be fine as a backbencher. The real problem is that he has a chair. We are actually lucky that the Republican wave of the 1990s got rid of lots of conservative Dems so that most of the House leadership is pretty good.

Holden represents a district that was drawn to redistrict him out of a seat. He won anyway. Can't ask him for too many votes though. And non-Philly Penn is probably one of the leading centers of anti-choice Dems. Honestly, Altmire's vote irritates me more since he is from more of a swing district. Carney gets points for voting "yes" on the final bill given his district.

One other factor here is that some of these folks may have been given permission to vote No on the final bill by House leadership once leadership found enough other votes. This is call the "catch and release" strategy. I would hope that Scott Murphy falls into that group. I suspect that Teague does as well as Boucher.

Not sure why I wrote "useless" rather than "unless" in the above post.

Blue said...

I'm surprised at your anger. It's fairly obvious that Pelosi let the Dems who wanted to vote no do so, as long as she had enough votes. Do you really think Health Care came within 3 votes of not passing the House?

Given that most of these Democrats didn't actually imperil HCR or climate change legislation, why the anger?

The stupak amendment votes are also horrible. And of course I question the political wisdom of all those Dems who think a yes vote will be a liability. But I guess a No vote isn't a liability.

ikl said...

By the way, Obama only won one of these districts - Barrow's. And that is not a safe distict in midterm elections (see 2006).

low-tech cyclist said...

Along the same lines as ikl, all of those guys on the list, except Shuler and Peterson, voted for the stimulus bill.

So Collin Peterson is looking like the worst of the worst here.