Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Fun Facts about House Democrats Voting 'No' on the Health Care Bill

Bookmark and Share

Years of service in U.S. House, district competitiveness, and district vote for McCain in '08 shaped Democratic votes; percentage of uninsured constituents in district had no impact

While much of the focus over the past week regarding whether or not Nancy Pelosi could muster enough votes to get the health care bill through the U.S. House was on whether or not anti-abortion Democrats would flip back and join their caucus, there were other more significant 'tells' that determined the ultimate shape of the 'yeas and nays' on the Democratic side of the aisle Sunday night.

A Smart Politics analysis of the 253 votes cast by Democrats Sunday night on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finds that Democrats with fewer years of service in the U.S. House, those representing more competitive districts with smaller margins of victory in 2008, and those representing districts carried by John McCain were much more likely to vote against the bill.

1. Experience. Democrats voting for the bill who are running for public office in 2010 have served 50 percent longer in the House than those voting against it.
· The 34 Democrats who voted against the bill have averaged 8.5 years of service in the U.S. House, compared to 12.0 years for those who voted for the bill.
· After excluding from analysis the nine Democrats who are retiring from public office altogether after 2010, the average length of service for those voting against the bill was 8.0 years, with 12.0 years still the average length for those voting 'yes.'

2. District Competitiveness. Democrats running for reelection in 2010 who voted against the bill represent districts that are 10 points more competitive than those who voted for the bill.
· The average margin of victory in 2008 of the 34 Democrats who opposed the measure was 36.7 points, compared to 45.3 points for those who cast their vote in support of the bill.
· Upon excluding from analysis those 15 Democrats who will not be running for reelection in their respective districts this November, the margin increases to 10 points: a 33.4-point average margin of victory for the Democrats voting against, and a 43.4-point average margin of victory for those in favor of the legislation.
· Of the 238 Democrats slated to run for reelection in 2010, the average district competitiveness rank for those voting against the bill was #152, compared to #241 for those voting in favor of it.

3. McCain Districts. Democratic members of the U.S. House who represent districts carried by Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election were 14.5 times more likely to vote against the bill than those representing districts carried by Barack Obama.
· Democrats representing 'McCain districts' voted 26 to 20 in opposition to the bill, or 56.5 percent against the measure. (Note: two additional McCain districts once held by Democrats, NY-29 and PA-12, are currently vacant).
· Democrats representing 'Obama districts' voted 199 to 8 in favor of the bill, or just 3.9 percent against the legislation.

One factor that seemingly had no relevance as to whether or not Democrats supported the measure was the percentage of constituents in a representative's district who did not have health insurance.
· The average percentage of constituents who did not have health insurance of the 34 Democrats voting against the health care bill: 17.0 percent.
· The average percentage of constituents who did not have health insurance of the 219 Democrats voting for the bill: 17.2 percent.

Democrat Dan Boren (OK-02) represents the largest constituency of the uninsured among those 34 Democrats who voted against the measure at 29.3 percent, followed by Harry Teague (NM-02, 25.0 percent), Chet Edwards (TX-17, 23.2 percent), Mike McIntyre (NC-07, 23.1 percent), and Gene Taylor (MS-04, 22.3 percent).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Bachmann, Kline, and Paulsen Respond to U.S. House Health Care Bill Passage
Next post: Is Bart Stupak's U.S. House Seat Vulnerable?

1 Comment


  • A poignant analysis and one that would seem overlooked in the media coverage of the vote. Despite the president's call to his own ranks "to be bold" and support the bill, most things political are about the triangulation between achieving meaningful outcomes and ensuring that the pilot light is burning strong enough to stay in office. Therefore one wonders-

    ...To what extent the Democrats privately reconciled that a number of "no" votes in its own membership will be necessary realities in order to consolidate...even fortify power in November.

    ...Whilst the legislation is not perfect and certainly compromised, it would also be interesting to know how many of the those voting "no" would have happily voted "yes" had there been less at risk by doing so.

    ...Finally, whilst a block Republican "no" vote was not a suprise, one wonders if any republicans were hesitant- even wavering- and what the disciplinary consequences would have been for voting "yes."

    Again this was a really good analysis.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    Mary Burke: English First?

    While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


    Does My Key Still Work?

    Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting