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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Profiles in Budgetary Courage

Using data from CQ’s Greg Giroux and from Swing State Project, I’ve taken a quick look at House and Senate Democrats who voted for and against the final budget resolution, and how their states and districts voted in the 2008 presidential election. And the real story is how many Democrats from tough territory actually voted with the president.
47 House Democrats represent districts carried by John McCain in a bad Republican year. They voted 34-13 for the Obama-backed budget. 13 Democratic senators represent states carried by McCain; they voted for the budget 10-3.
Of the four House Democrats voting against the budget who represent districts carried by Obama, three (Barrow of GA, Foster of IL, and Nye of VA) are from seats recently won by Republicans, and the fourth is Dennis Kucinich. Only two Senate Democrats from states won by Obama voted against the budget: Arlen Specter, who switched parties the day of the vote, and Evan Bayh, from a state that narrowly went Democratic for the first time in 44 years (true also, of course, for Virginia senators Warner and Webb, who voted for the budget).
Looking at the Democratic groupings often suspected of disloyalty is interesting, too. The Blue Dog Coalition in the House voted for the budget by a 41-6 margin. And in the Senate, the 15 Democrats whose names have most often been associated with the “moderate working group” led by Evan Bayh split 13-2 in favor of the budget.
All in all, not that bad a day for party unity.

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