Even on its own terms, is the idea that Blue Dogs come from uniquely conservative "hard districts" even true?
An analysis by the Swing State Project this week might give the Blue Dogs some backup.
In a widely-circulated post, blogger Crisitunity ranked members of the 110th Congress by their votes compared to their districts' Partisan Voting Index, a measure first developed by political analyst Charlie Cook in 1997. The idea is to find out if a Representative's voting record in 2008 was more or less "Democratic" than his district.
"Under-performing" Democrats are those that consistently vote more conservative than they could likely get away with given their district's Democratic leanings. "Over-performing" Democrats are those that somehow manage to vote more Democratic-friendly than their constituency.
So how do the Blue Dogs stack up? According to the Swing State Project's analysis:
* Only three of the top 20 "under-performing" Democrats in 2008 were in the Blue Dog Coalition: Reps. Scott (GA-13), Harman (CA-36) and Cooper (TN-5).
* By contrast, six of the Blue Dogs were among the 20 most "over-performing"Democrats: Reps. Taylor (MS-4), Matheson (UT-2), Pomeroy (ND-AL), Lampson (TX-22), Herseth (SD-AL) and Chandler (KY-6).
An analysis of Cook's own PVI rankings for Congressional districts shuffles some of the names but arrives at the same conclusion: there are more Blue Dogs topping the list of Democratic "over-performers" than "under-performers."
Friday, May 08, 2009
In a bid to show how Blue Dogs are not as consistently prone to vote more conservative than they could likely get away with given their district's Democratic leanings--as the liberal blogosphere leads people to believe--Chris Kromm concedes that Middle Tennessee's own Blue Dog Jim Cooper is "under-performing" relative to this district's Democratic leanings: