The Campaign Spot

Voters Who Like the Health-Care Bill Don’t Live in the Swing Districts

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

The Journal/NBC survey shows that majorities of African-Americans and liberal Democrats, as well as a plurality of Latinos, would be less likely to vote for their representative in Congress if he or she voted against the health-care plan.

That’s swell for Obamacare supporters. That’s also not the demographics in the districts of the wavering Democrats; most of them come from overwhelmingly white and distinctly not liberal districts.

(Keep in mind that the overall results showed 31 percent saying they were more likely to vote for a representative if they voted against the plan, and 34 percent less likely. On another question, 28 percent say they’ll be more likely to vote for their representative if they vote to pass the plan, 36 percent say less likely.)

The Journal/NBC poll doesn’t offer a breakdown by race, but if African Americans, liberals, and Latinos voted “less likely,” then it seems safe to presume a healthy number of whites made up the “more likely” category. PPP has the health-care plan split among whites at 36 percent support, 59 percent opposition.)

You might think that Gabby Giffords of Arizona has a lot of Latinos in her district. Compared to many other districts, she does, but they still only make up 20.3 percent; whites make 71 percent. She’s scored as an R+4 district in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

Jason Altmire’s district in Pennsylvania? 93 percent white. Same figure for Kathy Dahlkemper’s district in that state. Patrick Murphy? 89 percent white, 3.7 percent black. Chris Carney? 94 percent white, 2.5 percent black. Paul Kanjorski? 88.6 percent white, 4.2 percent black. These districts range from D+4 to R+8.

In Ohio, Steve Driehaus’s district is 28 percent black, 66 percent white; even then it only scores a D+1. Charlie Wilson’s district is 94.6 percent white, 2.6 percent black. John Boccieri’s district is 92 percent white, 4.7 percent black. Zach Space’s district is 95.5 percent white, and under 2 percent black. These districts range from R+2 to R+7.

In North Dakota, Earl Pomeroy’s district – a.k.a. the state – is 90.2 percent white and 1.6 percent Latino, and scores an R+10.

In Florida, Allen Boyd has a relatively high number of blacks in his district, at 22 percent; his district is 70.5 percent white and scores a R+6. Suzanne Kosmas has a district that is 74 percent white, 7 percent black, and almost 14 percent Latino, and still scores a R+4.

In Virginia, Glenn Nye’s district is 65 percent white, 22 percent black, and 5.7 percent Latino, and his district is scored as R+5. Tom Perriello’s district is 72 percent white and 23 percent black, scoring at R+5. Rick Boucher’s district is 92.4 percent white and 4.1 percent black, and scores at R+11.

In Indiana, Baron Hill represents a district that is 92.6 percent white and 2.5 percent black, and 2 percent Latino, and scores at R+6. Brad Ellsworth is running for the Senate, but he represents a district that is almost 93 percent white and scores at R+8.

It’s nice to know that Democrats who represent heavily black or heavily liberal districts like Maxine Waters and Pete Stark will be able to keep their seats after voting for health care. But for all those nervous Democrats in swing districts, the strongest supporters live in the wrong places.