Congressional Loyalty Scorecards, Part Five: Progressive Caucus
by Chris Bowers, Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 11:24:34 AM EDT
Part Two: The DLC
Part Three: Building a Real Majority
Part Four: Blue Dog Democrats
This installment in the series looks at the voting patterns of the fifty-one members of the Congressional Progressive caucus, none of whom is a Republican (it also includes Bernie Sanders). As I am sure you will agree after reading this, the overall picture of Democratic voting loyalty is starting to come into focus.
- Stayed with the party all ten times (39):Tammy Baldwin (WI), Xavier Becerra (CA), Corrine Brown (FL), Sherrod Brown (OH), Michael Capuano (MA), Julia Carson (IN), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Rosa DeLauro (CT), Lane Evans (IL), Barney Frank (MA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Maurice Hinchley (NY), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Tom Lantos (CA), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Jim McDermott (WA), James McGovern (MA), George Miller (CA), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Major Owens (NY), Nancy Pelosi (CA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Hilda Solis (CA), Pete Stark (CA), Janice Schakowsky (IL), Bennie Thompson (MS), John Tierney (MA), Tom Udall (NM), Nadia Velazquez (NY), Diane Watson (CA), Maxine Waters (CA), Mel Watt (NC), Henry Waxman (CA), Lynn Wollsey (CA)
- Stayed with the party nine times (10): Neil Abercrombie (HI), Emanuel Cleaver (MO),. Peter DeFazio (OR), Sam Farr (CA), Chaka Fattah (PA), Bob Filner (CA), Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL), Ed Pastor (AZ), Bobby Rush (IL), Jose Serrano (NY)
- Stayed with the party eight times (2): William Clay (MO), Shelia Jackson-Lee (TX)
Comparing the three Democratic groups studied so far, an interesting picture voting loyalty emerges:
- Progressive Caucus: 97.3% loyal
- DLC: 79.0% loyal
- Blue Dogs: 54.3% loyal
Blue Dog Democrats serve as an added barrier toward a true Democratic majority in Congress. Right now, the Democratic majority position on Social Security and these nine bills has only 40.6% support in the House, despite Democrats and Bernie Sanders making up 45.7% of the House. Right now, the average Democrat in the House supports 8.25 of the ten Democratic positions, while the average Republican supports 0.39 of the ten Democratic positions, making the difference between them 7.86 out of a possible ten positions. In order for the Democratic majority position to become the majority position of the entire chamber, it would be necessary to replace 53 Republicans with Democrats. Perhaps not surprisingly, with 168 non-Blue Dog Democrats in the House right now, for non-Blue Dog Democrats to become a majority they would need 50 more members. That is almost identical to the earlier number.
As a final note, here's a memo to Al From and Bruce Reed: the DLC members in the House are more similar to the left wing of the party (a gap of 18.3%) than to the right wing of the party, the Blue Dogs (a gap of 24.7%). This is something you might want to keep in mind when composing future memos aimed primarily at basement dwelling elitists, or whatever Republican caricature you feel applies to progressive at a given point in time.