Thanks to great work by NRDC’s Rob Perks, we can dispose of the theory that Democrats’ votes for clean energy/climate legislation — which Republicans demonized as “cap and tax” (despite it being their own idea!) — hurt them at the polls on Tuesday. In fact:
…a whopping 84% of Democratic representatives who voted for the House climate bill won their elections yesterday. (This does not include four races that are still too close to call as of this writing.) On the other hand, nearly 60% of those who voted against the bill went down in defeat. (This excludes two races that were not decided as of this writing.)
Here in Virginia, Glenn Nye voted “no” on ACES (and also “no” on health care reform) and lost on Tuesday. Gerry Connolly voted “yes” on ACES and won on Tuesday. On the other hand, Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello voted “yes” on ACES and lost on Tuesday. In the case of Perriello, it’s extremely unlikely that vote had anything to do with his defeat, as you barely even heard it mentioned by the Hurt campaign.
What about Rick Boucher? Now, that’s an interesting case – possibly the proverbial “exception that proves the rule?” – and one worth looking into further. My guess is that Boucher was hurt somewhat by his vote for “cap and trade” in “coal country,” but he was hurt even worse by his failure to explain what role he played in that bill – watering it down and larding it up with the coal industry wish list; basically, doing what the coal industry corporate overlords wanted, then getting little if any credit (or support) from them for doing so. Ouch.
P.S. I’d love to see this same analysis for health care reform.
UPDATE: Statistical analysis backs up NRDC’s case, big time.