Political scientist Michael Tesler explores the relationship between “racial conservatism” and the shutdown:
The graph below shows how likely each Republican in the House was to vote yes on the shutdown/debt ceiling deal, given their district’s estimated level of racial resentment. Republican members from districts scoring high on racial resentment were considerably more likely to vote against H.R. 2275 than other Republicans. For instance, Republicans from the most racially conservative House districts (such as OK2, MO8, and LA1) were about 60 percentage points less likely to vote for the bill than Republicans from racially moderate districts (such as GA6, AR2 and FL27).
(Note: Probabilities based on logistic regression. District-level racial resentment averages the mean level of resentment by district in the 2012 CCES and the 2012 CCAP. Graph by Michael Tesler.)
This result holds up once other factors are taken into account. In the graph below, the blue line shows that the relationship between district-level racial resentment and voting against the shutdown deal persisted after accounting for other attributes of congressional districts, including partisanship, ideological orientation, religiosity, and minority population. The results were also not affected by controlling for Republicans’ own individual ideologies. Notably, racial resentment in districts did not affect the House vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) earlier this year — legislation that, like the shutdown deal, passed with a minority of Republicans. It appears, then, that the relationship between district-level racial resentment and the shutdown vote was not merely politics as usual.
(Note: Probabilities based on logistic regression. Predicted probabilities were calculated by setting MC ideal point and district-level partisanship, ideology, religiosity, percent black, and percent Latino to the average Republican district. District-level variables based on the 2012 CCES and the 2012 CCAP. Graph by Michael Tesler.)