That’s what FiveThirtyEight is pointing to….
Gonna be a hell of a hard lift for Republican Speaker of the House McCarthy….
So what does it actually mean to be a “moderate” or “conservative” U.S. House member in the Republican Party of 2023? Don’t look for big policy divides to explain the difference — members are largely unified around an agenda of cutting certain spending programs, limiting abortion and keeping a lid on taxes. That’s not a new phenomenon: Four years ago, when my former colleague Perry Bacon Jr. analyzed what he believed were the five wings of the Republican Party, the categorizations revolved around Trump because, well, Trump defined the party.
The goalposts for what makes a “moderate” versus “conservative” lawmaker are always shifting. But as Republicans settle back into control of the House of Representatives, I set out to update Perry’s analysis — and concluded that while Trump still holds outsized influence over the party, he’s no longer its central pivot point.
Instead, I’d argue that a number of important fissures define the current House congressional GOP — and the embrace of Trump and Trumpism is just one of them. Voting records, ties to the establishment and caucus membership, for instance, all played a role in how I measured Republican House members against one another, drawing on data as well as expert opinion.
I’ll be honest and say that these categories may not be perfect and that there’s a potential for change in just a few years (Perry’s article was only written in 2019!) as loyalties switch and new issues come to the fore. And, as I’ll explain in more detail below, some members have their feet in multiple camps — or at least a pinky toe. Still, I’d put congressional Republicans in five main camps. I’ve ordered from most moderate to most conservative — or extreme….
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