Following the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, it looked for a time as is if the passage of the recent Health Care Reform legislation was unlikely. The most common arguments aimed at moderate Democrats in the House during this time period were as follows:
1) That the Health Care reform bill would become more popular after it had passed.
2) That given widespread voter ignorance, it was unlikely that this particular vote would have much effect on any individual House member’s re-election campaign.
The first argument has long since been proven false. And now it appears the second was incorrect also:
Out of the original 50 districts, only 41 had members who cast a vote on health care reform and are running for reelection. If we just divide these members based on their health care votes, those who voted for health reform are running 2.7 percentage points behind those who voted against it. But, of course, we should control for other things, especially district conservatism, since those from the more conservative districts voted almost uniformly against reform. I also included the members’ DW-NOMINATE scores to distinguish the health care vote from the members’ overall voting records.