Friday, January 7, 2011

"Rebel, Rebel" vs. "Party People": CQ's Analysis of the Arizona Congressional Delegation (Link To CQ Chart)

Earlier this week, Congressional Quarterly released its analysis of Congressional votes in 2010.  Arizona's 10-member delegation (8 Reps and 2 Senators) had three of the biggest Democratic rebels and one of the biggest GOP party men.  The rankings are similar to those continuously-updated on the Washington Post's site, and shows that Republicans stuck together much more (some would say "much better") than the majority party in 2010.

Of Arizona's three rebels, only Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8) was able to withstand the barrage from the GOP and retain her seat; she voted against the majority of her party colleagues a whopping 40% of the time (8th most rebellious).  Harry Mitchell (D-CD5) was the 4th least-likely-to-be-party-man in Congress, and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) was 10th;  they were defeated by David Schweikert and Paul Gosar, respectively.

The Republic does a good job of setting out the numbers, and we'll just put those into table format (below).

We'll add three other points:
1) All five of Arizona's Republican members of Congress voted with their party majority at least 97% of the time, while only one (Pastor) of Arizona's Democrats did so (Though Grijalva was at 96%.)
2) The Republic did not mention one of the interesting aspects of CQ's analysis: combining "party unity" with "presidential support".  Where the White House expressed a clear postiion prior to the vote, CQ analyzed those votes and plotted them along the X-axis.
     a) Among the Arizona Democrats' three rebels, Mitchell was slightly more likely than Kirkpatrick to also oppose the White House's position.  On the other hand, Giffords was far more likely to agree with the White House in those situations.  The numbers were 76%, 80% and 88%, respectively.
     b)  On the flip side, Flake was more likely to oppose the White House position than his Republican colleagues;  he tied for 3rd in that category, voting the same way the White House would have in only 20% of those roll calls.
3) The Washington Post figures incorporate 2009 and 2010, compared to CQ's 2010 analysis.  That comparison shows that Arizona GOP members stuck with their party's majority much more in 2010 - hinting at coordinated campaign strategy.  On the flip side, Grijalva and Pastor were consistent in 2009 and 2010, while the three rebels were much more rebellious in the election year - also hinting at being aware of the election year mood.

McCain  98%
Kyl         97%
Franks   100%
Shadegg  98%
Flake       97%
Pastor      98%
Grijalva    96%
Kirkpat    67%
Giffords    60%
Mitchell    47%

(BONUS: Video of Shadegg's baby-holding healthcare reform speech - added later:)

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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