Power And Dollar

How Competitive Election Made Your Congressman Listened

Of the 434 votes on the second bailout bill (1 vacancy), only 1 vote changed from YES to NO.  There were 58 votes from NO to YES, and 1 Abstain to YES.  The first bailout roll call is hereThis post is about how an election, their own election affected their decision.  The objective of this post is to show how competitive elections make elected officials more responsive, more responsible.  Due to the pet projects associated in the bailout bill, the direct implication is that more responsive and responsible elected officials make pet projects less likely.

 

The 1 abstain vote is casted by a Republican who is not running for re-election in a safe district.  A safe district here means the 2006 election has a winning margin of >=10%.  A district is close if the 2006 election has a winning margin of <10%.  Therefore, the abstain vote was actually a responsible move: since I am not running again, I should not make a vote that is so important to the rest of you.

 

There are 45 seats that are close in 2008, 21 D, 24 R.  Only 7 of them are NO-to-YES (NYer)votes, 2D and 5R.  The rest of them kept the votes.  Consider the following chart:

 

 

NO-YES

SAME

Total

D

2

19

21

R

5

19

24

Total

7

38

45

 

Of the 24 Republicans, only 13 of them are running for re-election.  Those 6 Representatives who are not seeking re-election did not change their vote.  All Democrats are running again.  This made 5/13 (28%) of Republicans vs. 2/21 (10%) of Democrats who changed their vote.  For the ones who are in close contest, they have no bargaining power for pet projects.  They simply have to face the electorate.

 

If we consider the all the safe Republicans seats, then the pressure of election consistently proves the point.  Of all the Republicans who do not face re-elections (11 of them), only 1 of them is an NYer (9%).  There are 163 Republicans who are in safe districts facing re-elections.  They 19 NYer (12%).  As the threat of re-election becomes clearer to the incumbent, the need to vote YES among Republican House Representatives is stronger.  

 

The Democrats invested more of their leadership in the bailout, so they have to mobilize more to get the votes.  31 out 213 Democrats (all in safe seats) are NYers (15%).  This investment is not only Pelosi’s investment.  Obama made phone calls as well.  So, some of these votes are not only about their own seats, but also debts on Obama’s back.  Thus, their change ratio is even greater.

 

The chart summarizes the information:

 

 

 

NO-YES

SAME

Total

D

Open Race

0

0

0

D

Re-election

31

182

213

R

Open Race

1

10

11

R

Re-election

19

144

163

 

Total

51

336

387

 

Of course money talks.  Another post will talk about the votes and money based on the information from CNN and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

 

Worthy To Mention:

The only YES-to-NOer is also a Jim McDermott, Democrat., of Washington 7th District.  He withstood the pressure to change from a YES to NO.

http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/

(just in case you want to send donation – he is on a safe seat)

 

PS:

In case you are interested, I will give you the complete list of 59 congressmen who changed from No to Yes.

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October 6, 2008 - Posted by | Current Events

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