Dying dogs

"Dying dogs" Continued...

Issue: "Broken beyond repair?," Sept. 25, 2010

These Democrats, now that they have to face voters again, are trying to regain their conservative labels by joining Republicans to block some Democratic spending plans. But it may be too little too late.

Obama's policies have so far failed to fix the economy or boost the job market. As a result, these Democrats are becoming increasingly unpopular in districts where voters elected them in hopes that they would right the nation's financial ship.

"There's a lot of frustration here with conservative Democrats who haven't been able to stop cap and trade and stop healthcare reform, but also with all representatives . . . for the economic situation," says the University of Virginia's Wood.

There is one group that may not mourn the loss of conservative Democrats: Liberal Democrats. They believe that a thinning of the ranks of conservative Democrats is a necessary step toward being able to fully implement far-left policies.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., told The Hill last month that the party may have more liberal purity soon: "I think a lot of the House seats we're going to lose are those who have been the toughest for the Democrats to pull into line-the Democrats that have been the most difficult."

-Emily Belz contributed to this report

By the numbers

On average, the 54 Blue Dog Democrats voted with the party 92 percent of the time. Democrats on average voted with the party (leadership) 92 percent of the time. In other words, the Blue Dogs show no different voting patterns than the rest of the party.

The 5 Dems who have bucked their party the most are: (the numbers are the percentage they voted with the party)
Walt Minnick 71%
Bobby Bright 72%
Gene Taylor 78%
Harry Mitchell 80%
Travis Childers 81%

And the 5 Dems who have voted with the party the most:
Adam Schiff 99.5%
Joe Baca 99%
Mike Thompson 99%
David Scott 99%
Jane Harman 98%

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.


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