Ousted Republican Senators Were Vulnerable to Conservative Attacks: A Graphic

More

Nate Silver has a helpful new graphic up at his FiveThirtyEight blog (now officially relocated to the New York Times) illustrating the not-so-risky gamble Tea Party Express took in challenging Sen. Murkowski. Not only are she and Utah's Sen. Bennett (who lost his primary earlier this year to Tea Party candidate Mike Lee) two of the most centrist Republicans in the Senate, Silver explains, they hail from two of the most conservative states in the country:

Under certain circumstances, these dalliances with centrism might be something Republicans might tolerate. It is unlikely that a senator significantly more conservative than Ms. Collins or Ms. Snowe could be elected out of Maine; instead, the seat would probably default to a Democrat. But Ms. Murkowski and Mr. Bennett hail from Alaska and Utah, two of the most conservative states in the country (although Alaska is somewhat idiosyncratically so), and Republicans could afford to be picky.

The graphic below plots Republican senators by how conservative their states are (the x axis) to how conservative their voting records are (the y axis). The dotted line represents how conservative one would expect the senators to be relative to their states' partisan breakdowns. Senators below the line are more liberal relative to their states.
 
  
nate silver murkowski graphic.png

Read the full story at the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog.


Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In