NPR logo How Divided Is Congress? Two Charts Explain It

America

How Divided Is Congress? Two Charts Explain It

This is from a few days ago, but we missed it until The Atlantic pointed it out today.

We know Congress is divided. But how much so?

Here's a graph The Atlantic dug up from data The National Journal has put together using data they've collected for about 30 years analyzing congressional votes:

A chart from the National Journal. National Journal hide caption

toggle caption National Journal

Basically it's showing you ideology based on votes and that in 1982 that middle point between the most liberal Democratic senator and the most conservative Republican senator is filled with Democrats and Republicans who cross the aisle.

In 2011, the graph shows, that blue/red line is rarely crossed.

This other chart gives you numbers:

A National Journal chart. National Journal hide caption

toggle caption National Journal

In the Senate, The National Journal says, there are zero members in that in-between space, while in the house there are 16.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.