Everyone thinks the situation in Washington is the result of two parties unable to come together. But who’s really behind it?
In the 2012 elections, a little more than 59.6 million Americans voted for representatives from the Democratic party while 58.2 million voters supported the Republican candidate.
But due to the way that congressional districts are organised, Democrats got 33 fewer seats than the GOP in the House of Representatives.
So right off the bad, the House GOP represents a minority of Congressional voters.
But it gets worse.
Let’s look at the element of the House GOP that supports tying the continuing resolution to fund the government to an un-passable defunding of the Affordable Care Act.
Judging by the number of people who signed freshman Rep. Mark Meadow‘s letter, 81 members of the 233 GOP caucus support this hardcore strategy. They’re called the “suicide caucus” by The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.
Now, let’s keep in mind that even this is a high estimate. The National Review’s Robert Costa — who may be the most plugged-in reporter on House Republicans — told the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein that he estimated that only 30-40 members really want to tie Obamacare funding to the C.R.
But still, even giving the “suicide caucus” the benefit of the doubt, that there are truly 81 members of Congress unwilling to budge on this, they really represent a negligible portion of the American people.
We can look at the number of votes each of them recieved in the 2012 congressional election.
Adding them up, we see that only 13.8 million Americans actually voted for the suicide caucus.
That’s only 11.7% of the people who voted in a congressional election in 2012, and an absolutely pathetic 4.3% of the U.S. population. Keep in mind, if only 30-40 members really care, this is a huge overestimation.
That deep minority of Americans might be pretty happy that the government is shut down, but it’s just stunning that that few people — a group slightly largest than the population of Illinois — can hold that much power.
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