Photo: Ben K via PicasaCross-posted from the Wonk Room.
“Democrats’ day of reckoning comes for climate vote,” writes the Politico‘s Darren Samuelsohn and Robin Bravender. “House Democrats who voted for the 2009 bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions — dubbed cap-and-tax by GOP opponents — had a terrible night.”
In fact, Democrats who voted against clean energy were more than three times as likely to lose their seats than those who voted for it:
- Out of the 211 Democrats who voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), only 41 either lost or retired and saw their seats go Republican. Thus 81 percent of Democrats voting for the climate bill won their races.
- Of the 44 Democrats who voted against ACES, 28 lost, retired and lost the seat to Republicans, or in the case of Parker Griffith (Ala.), flipped parties and lost the Republican primary. That means 64 percent of Democrats voting against the climate bill lost their seat.
- Of the eight Republicans who voted for the bill, only one was punished by the voters — Rep. Mike Castle (Del.), who lost his U.S. Senate primary to eventual loser Christine O’Donnell. Reps. Mary Bono Mack (Calif.-45), Dave Reichert (Wash.-08), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.-02), Chris Smith (N.J.-04), and Leonard Lance (N.J.-07) were re-elected. Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.-10) was elected to the U.S. Senate and Rep. John McHugh (N.Y.-23) became Secretary of the Army.
By contrast, the fight against big oil’s Proposition 23 to kill California’s climate legislation buoyed Democrats Governor-elect Jerry Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer to victory, helping to activate a broad coalition of progressive voters to come to the polls.