As the House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Thursday, defusing a damaging political issue for the GOP even as most of the party stood opposed, a group of vulnerable Republicans had a unanimous message for observers: We're not like the rest of them.
Every single voting House Republican from a district President Obama won last November supported the bill, while nearly two-thirds of the whole Republican conference voted no. Rep.Gary Miller, R-Calif., was absent, but his other 15 colleagues from Obama territory all voted yes. GOP Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Peter King of New York, who represent the two districts Romney won most narrowly, also voted for the VAWA reauthorization.
A larger, overlapping group of 40 House Republicans represent districts Obama won in 2008 supported the bill at a high rate. Just nine members from 2008 Obama districts voted against Thursday's bill, while 29 voted for it. (Two members, Miller and Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., were absent.) Fully one-third of the GOP support for the measure came from the 17 percent of Republicans in districts Obama carried four years ago.