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Who Defected on the US House Climate Change Legislation?

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The U.S. House of Representative's 219-212 vote last week in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454) passed in part due to the defection of a handful of Republicans, while more than half of the Blue Dog Democratic coalition voted in opposition to the bill.

Eight Republicans in total voted for the climate change legislation - seven of which hail from districts carried by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, by an average of 11.7 points.

GOP Defectors in Support of Climate Change Bill HR 2454

District
Representative
CD MoV
Pres. MoV
CA-45
Mary Bono Mack
14.8
5 (Obama)
DE-AL
Michael Castle
23.1
25 (Obama)
IL-10
Mark Kirk
9.0
23 (Obama)
NJ-02
Frank LoBiondo
20.2
9 (Obama)
NJ-04
Chris Smith
33.9
5 (McCain)
NJ-07
Leonard Lance
9.2
1 (Obama)
NY-23
John McHugh
30.6
5 (Obama)
WA-08
David Reichert
5.6
14 (Obama)

Forty-four Democrats voted against the measure (along with 168 Republicans), including 29 Blue Dog Democrats. Among those Blue Dogs voting 'no' were At-large Representatives Stephanie Herseth Sandlin from South Dakota and Earl Pomeroy from North Dakota.

While a majority of the Blue Dogs voted against the legislation, 23 representatives in the 52-member coalition supported it, including Minnesota's Collin Peterson (MN-07) and Iowa's Leonard Boswell (IA-03). The entire Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin congressional delegations voted along party lines.

Nearly twice as many Democrats who voted against the climate change bill represent districts carried by John McCain in 2008 presidential election (29) than those who represent districts carried by Obama (15). McCain carried these 29 districts by an average of 15.3 points.

Seven of the Democratic defectors won pick-up seats in the 2008 Election, and five of these are also Blue Dogs - Bobby Bright (AL-02), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Walt Minnick (ID-01), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), and Glenn Nye (VA-02).

Some Democratic opposition to the climate change legislation did come from the more liberal wing of the Party in the House, such as Peter Visclosky (IN-01) and Dennis Kucinich (OH-10). Kucinich argued that the bill did not go far enough - setting weak targets, giving record subsidies to the coal industry, and building an overarching framework for failure.

Democratic Defectors in Opposition to Climate Change Bill HR 2454

District
Representative
Blue Dog
CD MoV
Pres. MoV
AL-02
Bobby Bright
Yes
0.6
26 (McCain)
AL-05
Parker Griffith
Yes
3.0
23 (McCain)
AL-07
Artur Davis
 
100.0
42 (Obama)
AR-01
Marion Berry
Yes
100.0
21 (McCain)
AR-04
Mike Ross
Yes
72.6
19 (McCain)
AZ-01
Ann Kirkpatrick
 
16.2
10 (McCain)
AZ-05
Harry Mitchell
Yes
9.6
5 (McCain)
CA-13
Pete Stark
 
52.6
51 (Obama)
CA-20
Jim Costa
Yes
48.0
21 (Obama)
CO-03
John Salazar
Yes
22.8
2 (McCain)
GA-08
Jim Marshall
Yes
14.4
13 (McCain)
GA-12
John Barrow
Yes
32.0
9 (Obama)
ID-01
Walt Minnick
Yes
1.6
26 (McCain)
IL-12
Jerry Costello
 
46.9
13 (Obama)
IL-14
Bill Foster
 
14.8
11 (Obama)
IN-01
Peter Visclosky
 
43.7
25 (Obama)
IN-02
Joe Donnelly
Yes
36.9
9 (Obama)
IN-08
Brad Ellsworth
Yes
30.6
4 (McCain)
LA-03
Charlie Melancon
Yes
100.0
24 (McCain)
MS-01
Travis Childers
Yes
10.4
25 (McCain)
MS-04
Gene Taylor
Yes
49.2
35 (McCain)
NC-07
Mike McIntyre
Yes
37.6
5 (McCain)
NC-08
Larry Kissell
 
10.8
5 (Obama)
ND-AL
Earl Pomeroy
Yes
24.0
8 (McCain)
NY-24
Michael Arcuri
Yes
2.8
2 (Obama)
NY-29
Eric Massa
 
1.8
2 (McCain)
OH-06
Charles Wilson
Yes
29.5
2 (McCain)
OH-10
Dennis Kucinich
 
17.4
20 (Obama)
OK-02
Dan Boren
Yes
41.0
32 (McCain)
OR-04
Peter DeFazio
 
69.4
11 (Obama)
PA-03
Kathy Dahlkemper
Yes
3.0
0 (McCain)
PA-04
Jason Altmire
Yes
12.0
11 (McCain)
PA-10
Christopher Carney
Yes
12.8
9 (McCain)
PA-17
Tim Holden
Yes
27.6
3 (McCain)
SD-AL
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Yes
35.2
8 (McCain)
TN-04
Lincoln Davis
Yes
21.0
30 (McCain)
TN-08
John Tanner
Yes
100.0
13 (McCain)
TX-17
Chet Edwards
 
3.1
35 (McCain)
TX-23
Ciro Rodriguez
 
13.9
3 (Obama)
TX-27
Solomon Ortiz
 
19.5
7 (Obama)
UT-02
Jim Matheson
Yes
28.4
18 (McCain)
VA-02
Glenn Nye
Yes
4.9
2 (Obama)
WV-01
Alan Mollohan
 
100.0
11 (McCain)
WV-03
Nick Rahall
 
34.0
14 (McCain)

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