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Monday, March 22, 2010

Breaking Down The Votes

How Did The Representatives With The Most Uninsured Constituents Vote On Health Care Reform?
Story by Cameron Joseph, Graphic by Charlie Szymanski
Monday, March 22, 2010
In Sunday's vote, Democrats' decisions closely aligned to President Obama's popularity in their districts. The proportion of senior citizens living in the district also appeared to influence the decisions, but there was essentially no correlation between the vote and the percent of population in a district that lacked health insurance.
Use the interactive graphic below to map House members by their votes on the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill Sunday night, as well as their chamber's original reform bill. Select a group to view using the drop-down menu in the top right of the graphic, and sort members by votes, party, percentage of uninsured constituents or their district's choice in the 2008 presidential race. Hold Ctrl or Command and click another column to sort again by that variable.
The Driving Factor: Obama's 2008 Performance
• 30 of the 34 Democrats who voted against the bill hail from districts where Obama's share of the vote was lower than his national average of 53 percent.
• Only 33 of 63 Democrats from districts where Obama was held to under 53 percent supported the bill.
• 26 of 46 Democrats in districts John McCain won outright voted against the bill.
• Of the 10 Democrats in seats where McCain was over 60 percent, only retiring Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon supported the bill.
• 17 of the 20 pro-bill McCain Democrats are from districts where McCain didn't break 55 percent.
• 186 of the 190 Democrats from districts where Obama beat his national average of 53 percent supported the bill. The four exceptions that prove the rule:
--Alabama Rep. Artur Davis is leaving his safely Democratic district to run for governor in a state that gave Obama just 38 percent of its vote.
--Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch voted against the bill from the left, only to support the reconciliation bill.
--Georgia Rep. John Barrow's Republican-leaning district gave Obama 55 percent of its vote thanks to sky-high black turnout.
--Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski changed his vote to no because of his pro-life views.
Influence Of Senior Citizens
• 24 of 125 Democrats in districts with more citizens aged 65 or older than the 12.6 percent national average opposed the health care bill. That means 20 percent of Democrats from senior-heavy districts opposed the bill.
• By contrast, of the 128 Democrats in districts with fewer than the average number of seniors, only 10 opposed the bill -- just 8 percent.
Little Impact: Rate Of Uninsured
• 94 of 110 Democrats in districts above the 15 percent national uninsured rate supported the bill.
• 125 of 143 Democrats in districts below the national average supported the bill.


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