Since this vote fractured both parties in the House, the cutting line splits members not along the first dimension (the liberal-conservative divide–the primary axis of competition in American politics). but rather along the second dimension. The optimal classification model classifies those with low second dimension scores as “Nay” votes and those with higher scores on the y- or vertical axis as “Yea” votes. Note that many of the members of the Tea Party Caucus (on the right) and the Progressive and Black Caucuses (on the left) share negative scores on the second dimension, even though they are quite distant from one another on the liberal-conservative scale (we isolate the membership of each of these Caucuses in separate plots below to highlight this trend). These groups were also more opposed to the deal than the rest of the chamber: the Progressive Caucus voted 14-57 against the deal, the Black Caucus opposed it 17-23, and the Tea Party split 32-27 on the bill. We have previously suggested that the second dimension may be picking up intra-party differences within the Democratic and Republican caucuses in the 112th Congress based on an establishment/outsider divide. Though still too early in the 112th Congress to more deeply assess this trend, this particular vote does support it: Republicans and Democrats with high second dimension scores (and perhaps more “establishment” figures) are classified as supporting the bill.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Insiders, Outsiders, and the Debt Vote
The Voteview blog suggests that the debt vote in the House may point to insider/outsider divisions in both parties: