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2006 Washington House Roll Call Clusters

Greetings and an early Merry Christmas. Well! I have succeeded, after several tries, in clustering the House Roll Call data.

In addition to the pictures of the resulting cluster maps, I have produced an additional product: a web page which correlates legislators, based on the maps, and shows where their votes were dissimilar.

The data I worked from was furnished on condition that I always make the disclaimer that the information is believed to be accurate, but is not to be construed as an official record of the roll call... or words to that effect.

Let me know if this is useful in your lobbying and/or research efforts, and maybe I'll do the same thing when 2007 comes to a close.

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Do we need a "finish carpenter" -- someone to explain the maps and affinities and what they mean  to people like me?

Here's the kind of stuff I get stuck on.  I don't know how to interpret 85th percentile or 95th percentile.  Does this mean if a Representative is in the 85th percentile, he or she votes in ways similar to 85% of the rest of the members?  So a Representative who isn't on one of these maps has an atypical voting pattern?

And does it indicate the way in which the pattern might be atypical?  For example, are you comparing a given Rep. to the entire  group of Reps?  Or to the Reps in his or her own political party?

The 95th percentile map looks like a Cinderella dress.  Morrel, Grant, Campbell, and Clibborn are in the waist.   I assume this means they vote similarly to each other.  And that they vote in the middle of something.  But the middle of what?  

by noemie maxwell on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 08:36:44 PM PST

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