Alpha-NOMINATE Applied to the 113th House

Following up on our previous posts, below we apply Alpha-NOMINATE to the 113th House. There were 1,202 total votes in the of which 1,021 are scalable (at least 2.5% in the minority). We used the R version of Alpha-NOMINATE to perform the analysis. We used 2000 samples from a slice sampler in one dimension with a burn-in of 1000. The first graph shows the Trace and Density plots for alpha.


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The mean of alpha was 0.99033 with a standard deviation of 0.001125 strongly indicating that the Representatives’ utility functions were Gaussian.

The next five plots show the estimated ideal points for the 443 scalable Representatives (Emerson (R-MO) only voted 11 times) and President Obama (using CQ Presidential Support votes his location is at -1.41) along with their 95% Credible Intervals. On the left, Representative Schakowsky (D-IL) is located at -2.262. Her 95% credible interval runs from -2.460 to -2.077. The five Republicans on the right end are Massie (R-KY) at 3.93 (3.77 – 4.09), Broun (R-GA) at 3.94 (3.80 – 4.10), Amash (R-MI) at 4.00 (3.85 – 4.14), Duncan (R-TN) at 4.08 (3.89 – 4.26), and all by himself, Jones (R-NC) at 9.16 (8.59 – 9.80).

Walter Jones is also the most extreme member of the 114th as of the August recess. Indeed, many of the more extreme members of the Republican caucus continued into the 114th. With the volatile issue of Planned Parenthood funding on the table there will be attempts to attach defunding language to many must-pass bills. Neither President Obama nor the Republican leaders want another shutdown but with the number of intense conservatives in the House Caucus it will be a tricky row to hoe.

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Leaving out Jones (R-NC):

The Median of the Democratic Party is -1.317 with a standard deviation of 0.0166 and the Median of the Republican Party is 0.993 with a standard deviation of 0.0166. The probabilities for the median Representative are 0.083 for Gerlach (R-PA) located at 0.455, 0.079 for Wolf (R-VA) at 0.449, 0.073 for Frelinghuysen (R-NY) at 0.478, 0.073 for Meehan (R-PA) at 0.451, and 0.071 for Dent (R-PA) at 0.433. Given the large number of Republicans concentrated around 0.45 these probabilities are no surprise.

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