An Analysis Of Texas House Roll-Call Votes Reveals Members’ True Political Identities

A Rice University political scientist says the tally puts every house member on a spectrum, but also hints at how likely their position on that spectrum could change.

By Terri LangfordJune 6, 2019 2:13 pm

The custom of calling states “red” or “blue” has been criticized in recent years. But in the wake of the 2019 Texas legislative session, the designations can be helpful in decoding Texas politics.

Mark Jones is a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, and he has been recording every roll-call vote by members of the Texas House of Representatives during the recent legislative session. Jones says he used the votes to determine each member’s location on the political spectrum, and to reveal legislative patterns.

“It places every single legislator on a dimension from the far right – that is the most conservative legislator – to the far left, the most liberal legislator,” Jones says. “It also gives us some information about the uncertainty about where they’re located.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How Jones’ data helps situate Texas House members on the political spectrum 

– How the Texas House is becoming more partisan each legislative session

– What makes Democrats in the House less ideologically diverse than their Republican counterparts


Written by Hayden Baggett.