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Bachmann's Narrow Victory in 2008 Did Not Curb Conservative Voting Record in 2009

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Congresswoman followed up the narrowest victory for a GOP U.S. House incumbent in 2008 with the 28th most conservative voting record

Last year Smart Politics designated Michele Bachmann as having the 'boldest' political ideology of the entire Republican caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. That designation was based on an analysis of the Congresswoman's conservative voting record (as measured by National Journal's annual rankings) and her narrow margin of victory in 2008.

National Journal's newly released 2009 vote ratings finds Bachmann upholding that reputation - a Representative who continues to boast one of the most conservative ratings in the House (#28), despite being reelected with the narrowest margin of victory of any Republican incumbent.

At 3.0 points, Bachmann had the 5th narrowest margin of victory of the 178 GOPers elected into office that November, with the other four more narrowly decided races all won by freshmen GOPers:

· John Fleming held the open LA-04 race for the Republicans by 0.4 points.
· Tom McClintock held the open CA-04 race for the GOP by 0.6 points.
· Blaine Luetkemeyer held the open MO-09 contest for the Republicans by 2.5 points.
· Joseph Cao won the LA-02 runoff in a pickup for the GOP by 2.7 points.

Overall, Representative Bachmann had the second narrowest victory of any Democratic or Republican incumbent. Only Democrat Michael Arcuri (NY-24) escaped with a closer victory in 2008, winning by 2.8 points to return to D.C. for his second term.

But what is unusual about Bachmann is not her conservative message and voting record per se, but rather how she stands apart from her fellow conservative peers who represent extremely safe congressional districts.

A Smart Politics analysis of National Journal's Top 50 most conservative members of the House finds Bachmann to be one of just four GOPers who was elected by less than 10 points in 2008, and one of just two elected by less than five points.

Representative Bachmann was joined by McClintock (0.6 points), Pete Olson (TX-07, 7.0 points), and Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL, 9.8 points) as the only Republicans ranked in the Top 50 who faced competitive races in 2008.

The average margin of victory in 2008 for the Top 50 most conservative members of the U.S. House was 32.2 points, with those members having served an average of 4.6 terms.

Bachmann's district has also been trending increasingly Democratic for the last few election cycles - with DFL state legislators quadrupling their number of House seats in the 6th CD since redistricting in 2002 and slicing the average GOP margin of victory in half from 13.4 to 6.5 points.

Bachmann was one of just nine Representatives among the Top 50 most conservative in the U.S. House who represent districts John McCain carried by less than 10 points.

In 2007, Bachmann's first year in office, National Journal scored her as the 26th most conservative member of the U.S. House. In 2008, she was ranked #31.

National Journal's Top 50 Most Conservative Members of the U.S. House, 2009

Rank
Name
District
Terms
2008 MoV
McCain MoV
1
Trent Franks
AZ-02
4
22.3
23
1
Doug Lamborn
CO-05
2
23.0
19
1
Randy Neugebauer
TX-19
4
47.5
45
1
Pete Olson
TX-22
1
7.0
17
1
John Shadegg
AZ-03
8
12.0
14
1
Mac Thornberry
TX-13
8
55.3
53
7
Marsha Blackburn
TN-07
4
37.2
31
8
Mike Pence
IN-06
5
30.6
6
9
Steve King
IA-05
4
22.4
11
9
Tom McClintock
CA-04
1
0.6
10
11
Todd Akin
MO-02
5
26.9
11
12
Jeff Miller
FL-01
5
40.4
35
12
Pete Sessions
TX-32
7
16.7
7
14
John Boehner
OH-08
10
35.8
23
15
John Linder
GA-07
9
24.1
21
16
George Radanovich
CA-19
8
97.2
6
17
Rob Bishop
UT-01
4
34.4
31
17
Patrick McHenry
NC-10
3
15.1
27
19
Virginia Foxx
NC-05
3
16.7
23
19
Jim Jordan
OH-04
2
30.3
22
21
Jason Chaffetz
UT-03
1
38.3
38
21
Mike Conaway
TX-11
3
76.7
51
21
Adrian Smith
NE-03
2
53.7
39
24
Louie Gohmert
TX-01
3
75.2
39
25
Lynn Westmoreland
GA-03
3
31.4
29
26
Kenny Marchant
TX-24
3
14.9
11
27
Bob Latta
OH-05
2
28.6
8
28
Michele Bachmann
MN-06
2
3.0
9
29
Kevin McCarthy
CA-22
2
100.0
21
30
Sam Johnson
TX-03
10
21.7
15
31
Wally Herger
CA-02
12
14.6
12
32
John Kline
MN-02
4
14.8
2
33
John Carter
TX-31
4
23.7
16
34
Jeb Hensarling
TX-05
4
67.2
27
34
Cynthia Lummis
WY-AL
1
9.8
32
34
Sue Myrick
NC-09
8
26.5
10
37
Eric Cantor
VA-07
5
25.6
7
38
Joe Pitts
PA-16
7
16.4
3
39
Devin Nunes
CA-21
4
36.4
14
40
Steve Scalise
LA-01
2
31.4
46
41
Kay Granger
TX-12
7
37.0
27
42
Mary Fallin
OK-05
2
31.8
18
43
John Culberson
TX-07
5
13.5
17
44
Tom Price
GA-06
3
37.0
28
45
Dan Burton
IN-05
14
31.1
19
45
Nathan Deal
GA-09
10
51.0
52
47
Phil Gingrey
GA-11
4
36.4
33
48
Gresham Barrett
SC-03
4
29.5
29
48
Paul Broun
GA-10
2
21.5
25
48
Duncan Hunter
CA-52
1
17.7
8
 
Average
 
4.6
32.2
22.4
Note: Conservative ranking data from National Journal's 2009 analysis of key votes.

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3 Comments


  • Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.


    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her unconstitutional votes at :
    http://tinyurl.com/qhayna
    Mickey

  • Excellent analysis piece.

  • What I get from the analysis is that Bachmann votes on the basis of her personal belief system (i.e., she's not open to accommodation for the purpose of representing the preferences of the greatest possible number of her constituents).

    The jury is still out on whether Bachmann truly believes the outrageous things she says with predictable regularity (see links below) or whether she pointedly makes those extreme and often inaccurate statements to fire up her base and garner national media attention to raise her profile and grease the fundraising machine.

    The significance of answering that question is that it will establish whether Bachmann is a true political paranoid (one of the most dangerous political types) or merely a shrewd politician who poses no imminent threat to civil society and the rule of law.

    http://www.immelman.us/news/michele-bachmanns-greatest-hits/

    http://www.immelman.us/news/bachmanns-march-of-folly/

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

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    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

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