Copying Off Your Neighbor In The 2008 Legislature

I’ve processed all the roll call votes from the 2008 Utah legislature’s General Session and there are some interesting results to report.

Let’s take a look at the question of who is the Scalia and Thomas of the legislature. Who is it that votes most like another legislator (not including missed votes)? The answer is that Senators Curt Bramble (R-Provo) and Dan Eastman (R-Bountiful) voted together 98.9% of the time. That’s an astounding 614 out of the 621 roll call votes both attended in 2008.

And they sit right next to each other.

Even when they aren’t copying each other’s work, they still give Utah’s teachers plenty of trouble. Bramble was Senate sponsor of the late unlamented voucher proposal and Eastman supported it.

The closest Democrats were Representatives Carol Spackman Moss (D-SLC) and Phil Riesen (D-SLC) with a 98.7% rate of agreement. And, yes, they sit together, too.

Note that 1008 of the 1437 roll calls on bills in 2008 have been unanimous and another 83 had a lone dissenter, so even the oddest of odd couples have been in agreement most of the time. The legislators like to pad their schedule with the chance to vote individually in favor of puppies and Christmas and the like.

The Democrat and Republican closest in their voting were Rep. Bud Bowman (R-Cedar City) and Rep. Karen Morgan (D-SLC) who agreed 95.82%. In the Senate the closest were Senator Mike Dmitrich (D-Price) and Senator Kevin Van Tassell (R-Vernal) who voted together 95.02% of the time.

The most likely to disagree were Rep. Mike Morley (R-Spanish Fork) and brand new Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D-SLC). They voted together only 77.09%. Since 69% of House votes were unanimous or had one lone dissenter, that’s not much agreement. The farthest apart Senators were Senator Margaret Dayton (R-Provo) and Senator Scott McCoy (D-SLC) who agreed 82.5% of the time. Astoundingly, 81.3% of Senate votes were unanimous or had but one dissenter.

The closest pairs:

  1. Bramble and Eastman, 98.89%
  2. Bramble and Sen. Carlene Walker (R-SLC), 98.81%
  3. Walker and Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (R-Sandy), 98.71%
  4. Moss and Riesen, 98.67%
  5. Eastman and Walker, 98.65%
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2 Responses to Copying Off Your Neighbor In The 2008 Legislature

  1. brian says:

    Thanks, Tom.

  2. Tom says:

    Great analysis. Keep it coming.

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