Below we use updated DW-NOMINATE scores to plot the Senate’s 62-37 vote to override President Obama’s veto of a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Senate fell five votes short of a successful veto override.
Eight Senate Democrats joined all 54 Senate Republicans in supporting the override. These eight Democrats are among the most moderate members of their party’s caucus, and DW-NOMINATE accounts for this in projecting the cutting line as running through the right edge of the Senate Democrats.
It is also worth noting the degree of ideological dispersion among Republicans in the 114th Senate, which runs the gamut between moderates like Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and strong conservatives like Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY), with a first dimension (ideological) distance of approximately 0.8 between these two clusters.
This image is from a new stand-alone DW-NOMINATE that can be run daily as new roll calls are cast. We will have more to say about this software at a later date.
Click image to enlarge
Note: The plot does not include Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who voted Nay but has not yet cast enough votes to be included in the scaling.