Vote Studies 2011

Jan. 17, 2012

Congressional Quarterly has analyzed the roll call voting patterns of members of Congress since 1953. The three principal studies involve the frequency with which lawmakers vote with the president when he clearly indicates his preferences (Presidential Support), the frequency with which they vote with their party on occasions when a majority of Republicans oppose a majority of Democrats (Party Unity) and the frequency with which they show up and cast "yea" or "nay" votes (Voting Participation).

Analysis from CQ Weekly: Participation | Presidential Support | Party Unity | Historical Trends

This graph combines an individual lawmaker's party unity score (indicated along the vertical axis) with his or her presidential support score (along the horizontal axis). The result is a single point on the graph that represents each lawmaker, and that helps to demonstrate their often different positions. Lawmakers who fall toward the top of the graph are more supportive of their party than those toward the bottom. Those who fall toward the right edge support the president more, and those who fall toward the left support him less. Those who fall toward the center tend to be considered centrists.

Hover on a plot point or distribution bar for more information. For points or bars that represent multiple members, click to see a full list. Use the drop-down menu to locate a specific member.

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