Thursday, November 02, 2006

Moderate Democrats

One theme likely to emerge from the elections is the rise of the 'moderate Democrat', the recruitment of candidates who market themselves as moderate such as Heather Shuler in North Carolina, or the 'Jesus-lovin' Harold Ford in Tennessee (for a bemused view of Ford from the left see here). Democrat stategists are encouraged by reports of defections of moderate Republican voters in Kansas and Washington, Oregon. Even although the Democrats will not depend on their majority for the south and this will be a change from pre-1994 electoral forces will pull them to the middle as Dave Oldenburg argues. How will factionalism play out in Congress? An indispensable guide is the National Journal 2005 Vote Rating that rank each member of Congress by how on average their voting behaviour is liberal or conservative across economic, social and foreign policy issues, a score of 90% for liberalism means that this member of Congress votes more liberally than 90% of his/her colleagues. In the run-up to the election I will use these rating to bring out lines of division and overlap. To start is economic and social liberalism correlated? Definitely yes according the chart that compares each memebr of the House of Representatives.


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