This Is What Congressional Gridlock Looks Like in 1 Chart

National Journal
Brian Resnick, Ella Krivitchenko and Brian Mcgill
Nov. 13, 2013, 5:56 a.m.

If you’re look­ing for a quick fact to ex­plain con­gres­sion­al grid­lock, it’s this: In the 113th Con­gress, only 59 mem­bers have voted with the ma­jor­ity of their party less than 90 per­cent of the time (20 Re­pub­lic­ans and 39 Demo­crats).

The trend over the last 30 years is that Con­gress has be­come in­creas­ingly sor­ted in­to polit­ic­al blocs that vote only with each oth­er. Ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings, 30 years ago most law­makers had re­cords that put them some­where in between the most lib­er­al Re­pub­lic­an and the most con­ser­vat­ive Demo­crat. Now there are just a re­l­at­ive hand­ful.

As you can clearly see in this chart of the 113th Con­gress House votes, most rep­res­ent­at­ives vote with the ma­jor­ity of their party (data via Open­Con­gress). That lonely blue dot at the bot­tom is Jim Math­eson of Utah, a Demo­crat, who rep­res­ents a con­ser­vat­ive dis­trict.

House Mem­bers by Per­cent­age of Votes With Re­spect­ive Party Ma­jor­ity
Roll over a circle for more in­form­a­tion or click and drag on the chart to zoom in­to a spe­cif­ic area.

Source: open­con­gress.org

Down­load this graph­ic and more at Na­tion­al Journ­al’s Present­a­tion Cen­ter.

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