Why Georgia lawmakers almost always vote with their parties

View Caption
Hide Caption

The Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn on Wednesday, as the city prepares for Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as president. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON — There are days here on Capitol Hill when it feels like the only issues that can unite all 16 of Georgia’s lawmakers are the Savannah port and the state’s water battles against Florida and Alabama.

We’re generalizing, yes, but it does appear that the list of issues that can notch bipartisan support in Congress is shrinking by the year. New data from the Cook Political Report suggests why that’s often the case.

Congress has become strikingly more polarized than it was even 20 years ago, according to the nonpartisan group. In 1997, 164 out of 435 House districts were considered “swing” districts, meaning that no one party dominated the region and bipartisan work was incentivized. That number is down 56 percent to just 72 such congressional seats today.

The group argues that gerrymandering is less of a factor than self-selection — people moving to areas of the country where the prevailing local politics mirrors their own views.

Some Georgia-specific revelations from the group’s latest report. Data nerds can read it here:

  • Doug Collins’ 9th congressional district in Northeast Georgia is the third-most Republican in the country, favoring GOP candidates in presidential elections by 31 percentage points above the national average. Tom Graves’ 14th District seat in the state’s Northwest corner ranked 10th.
  • Conversely, John Lewis’ 5th District seat, which encompasses much of the city of Atlanta, is the 14th most Democrat-friendly in the country. It favors Democrats by 34 percentage points above the national average.
  • The closest thing Georgia has to a swing district is in the 2nd district, which stretches South from Columbus and also includes Albany and Macon. Currently…

Read the full article from the Source…

Back to Top