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Becoming A Regional Party

by Stuart Shapiro

The fiscal cliff avoidance package passed with a bipartisan 257-167 vote.  But behind that vote total lie some interesting breakdowns.  David Jarman explains:

On the Republican side, there were 85 yes and 151 no votes (with 5 no-votes, from Ann Marie Buerkle, Dan Burton, Sam Graves, Jerry Lewis, and Ron Paul). That’s too many votes to replicate the entire list, but there was a significant geographic dichotomy here, one that seems to support the larger idea that the GOP is increasingly becoming a regional rump party. The New York Times has a helpful interactive map that puts that into stark relief. (That’s the map you see above, though there’s more detail at the link.)

Of those 85 yes votes, only 13 were Republicans from the Census-defined “southern” states, and many of those were either ones with ties to leadership (ex-NRCC chairs Tom Cole and Pete Sessions, Appropriations chair Hal Rogers) or ones with atypical, moderate districts in Florida (Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bill Young). Rodney Alexander, Kevin Brady, Howard Coble, Ander Crenshaw, John Sullivan, Mac Thornberry, and Steve Womack, most of whom are also pretty establishment-flavored, round out the list.

And of those 151 no votes, 59 were from non-southern states.

So, to do the math, southern Republicans voted against the package by a 92-13 margin, while the rest of Congress voted for it 244-75.  And who is out of touch with the “real America”?

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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