Obama's Pull in Home Districts Swayed Reps' Votes

Obama's share of vote in 2008 best predictor of House Democrats' positions
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2010 11:22 AM CDT
President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Barack Obama may have sown the seeds to last night's victory with the one in 2008: House Democrats in districts Obama carried were much more likely to vote in favor of health reform. Retiring members aside, Nate Silver writes, “all 12 Democrats running in a place where Obama received less than 40% of the vote decided against the bill, whereas 195 of 202 running where he received a majority voted for it.” In Silver’s opinion, the vote hinged on the 2010 election for both the yeas and the nays.

“The explicit appeal the White House made,” Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight, “that Obama's presidency depended on the outcome of the vote,” seems to have swayed Democrats from districts where his popularity is an asset, but not “those for whom Obama is unambiguously a liability.” In addition to the politicking, members also appeared to give credence to their conscience “as it regards both health care overall and the side issue of abortion."

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