Tuesday, July 07, 2009

CQ Shows Iowa Dems About The Same

CQ Shows Iowa Dems Voting Scores About The Same

Congressional Quarterly is out with its semi-annual analysis of voting scores, and it shows the three Democrats in Iowa's House delegation lining up with very similar scores.

Match the member with the score:
1. BraleyA. 96% Pres. Support98% Party Unity
2. LoebsackB. 96% Pres. Support99% Party Unity
3. BoswellC. 96% Pres. Support94% Party Unity

Answer at the bottom of the post, but the distinctions are really fine. What's interesting is that Blue Dog Boswell is lining up with Braley and with Progressive Caucus member Loebsack.

On the Republican side, there's more of a difference. Tom Latham, in a dead-even district and perhaps anticipating a redistricting face-off with Boswell in 2012, is at 46 percent Obama support and only 85 percent party unity. Steve King, playing to a solid base in a safe district, is only at 19 percent Obama support (putting him in the bottom 10 percent of the House) and a 99 on party unity.

A couple caveats: Unlike most interest group scoring which selects a few key votes, CQ counts everything. If Obama takes a position in favor of National Gopher Day and it passes unanimously, that counts as Steve King supporting Obama. And CQ weighs everything equally; Gopher Day counts as much as the stimulus package.

It also doesn't take into account the reason for a vote. If Dennis Kucinich votes no on Gopher Day because he also wants to honor groundhogs and gerbils, while Walt Minnick votes no because his big campaign donor Carl Spackler says gophers are destroying Idaho's golf courses, both get counted as anti-Obama and anti-party unity.

But in the meantime it's numbers and that's fun (for me anyway). CQ has fun interactive widgets to play with, and the really interesting thing is to look at the outliers who don't fit any pattern, the Gene Taylors and Joe Caos and Ron Pauls.

Answers: 1=B 2=C 3=A.

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