The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Dem senators, ideology and Taft-Hartley

I've looked before at the part that labor laws played in the rightward slide of Southern Democratic senators [1].

Now, with the Voteview gizmo, I find that the Taft-Hartley override vote was not cut-and-dried as all that. Arranging the Dems in ascending order of 1st coordinates - that is, from most liberal to most conservative - and comparing these rankings with the way votes were cast, there is no visible correlation.

For instance, the most liberal, Pepper (FL) at -0.629, voted against; the next liberal, Eastland (MS) [2] at -0.448, voted for. Then comes a block of six votes against, including Jim Crow liberals Hill and Sparkman (AL), after which one has McClellan and Fulbright (AR) voting for.

And so on, down to the most conservative Dems: Lucas (IL), at 0.492, voted no; Umstead (NC), at 0.533, voted yes.


  1. Looking at the Taft-Hartley override vote in particular (December 19 2004) and more generally at the post-war period (December 31 2004).

  2. I don't believe it, either.


Running Spearman's correlation test for Democrats only - coding yes and no votes 1 and 0 - the correlation between the 1st coordinate and the TH vote was not significant (p = ?0.244); running the same test for all 95 senators voting makes the correlation highly significant (p = ?0.012).

Go figure.

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