The Wall Street Journal has created a series of data visualizations illustrating the shifts in the ideological makeup of Congress under different presidents. The visualizations show the balance of party representation in the Senate and House, the voting records of lawmakers growing more or less liberal or conservative, and the frequency with which members of Congress vote along party lines, dating back to the Eisenhower administration. Since around the time of the Reagan administration in the 1980s, the visualizations show that Republicans have skewed more conservative, while Democrats have stayed moderately liberal, and that when their party is in power, both Democrats and Republicans have grown substantially more likely to vote along party lines.
Visualizing Changes in the Ideological Makeup of Congress
Joshua New is a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life. Follow Joshua on Twitter @Josh_A_New.
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