republicans/dems voting as a block?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Does anyone have any data on impression is that the Republicans (I mean generally, but in particular house and senate) tend to be more uniform in their voting than are dems. That is, there are fewer "defectors" for any given vote, be it some environmental issue, abortion, etc.

First, do you agree, and second, does anyone have any data to bsupport/refute this?



  • Reply 1 of 2
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    I have read that it is becoming more true for both parties because of good intentions gone wrong.

    Basically campaign reform has made it much harder for individual candidates to collect enough contributions to run for office. As a result more and more candidates have to get money raise by the national and state party. This leads to fewer iconoclastic type candidates and more uniform candidates because the state and national parties won't give money to someone who doesn't support their views.

    Then it comes back yet again when it it sime to set the district lines and both parties do a lot of gerrymandering and create safe districts which again makes it easier to tow the party line.

    So in my view it is definately true and is mostly caused by campaign finance laws.

  • Reply 2 of 2
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I don't have any data, but thinking back to big votes in the past, it seems to be true. For Clinton's 1992 budget measures, all Repubs voted against it and so did many Dems. For Bush's tax cuts and war, all (I think) Repubs voted for it, and so did many Dems.

    My opinion, snide though it may be, is that Repubs tend to vote in a politically easier way, e.g., for tax cuts and to get the Arabs. So it's easy for Repubs to vote in a block and hard for Dems to go against it if they disagree. So more Dems cave than Repubs. I'm sure you can find plenty of instances where Dems have had politically easy votes, but I think it happens more often for Repubs. That may be because there are more self-described conservatives in the US populace than liberals. I think it's around 40 (conservative) 40 (moderate) and 20 (liberal).

    So if the Dems are, roughly, the liberal party and the Repubs are the conservative party, Dems are just naturally going to be more split than Repubs, due to ideological and regional differences. There are a few northeastern liberal-moderate Repubs, but not many anymore. Come to think of it, there aren't too many conservative southern Dems anymore either.

    Just my thoughts.
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