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Hard evidence: Jewish House = Democratic House

by Shmuel Rosner

January 2, 2013 | 6:50 am

Jewish Congresswoman and chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Photo: Reuters)

Nate Silver's long post on the dwindling number of competitive House districts and the growing partisanship among House ranks is a worthy piece in and of itself. But in this small and petty Rosner world of Jewish interest, we've paid special attention to one graph – the share of Democratic seats in the House from 1880-2012.

This graph – in fact, the last leg of it – reminded us of a graph of different nature that we have on our J-Meter's House Jewish Projection.

If you haven't been following this page, here's an ideal opportunity for you to start. We've just begun to track the 2014 races, and not too long ago posted our first 2014 projection for the number of Jewish House members for the 2015-16 session.

This post, though, is not about the projection but rather about the graph. Take a look at ours:

 

And now take a look at Silver's:

Now take a look at the following graph: It's a graph of Jewish representation since 1993, coupled with the share of Democratic seats in the same years – in other words, a blend of our data and Silver's:

You see what I'm getting at, right? While we spend a lot of time and effort trying to project the number of Jewish House members, and as we attempt to understand the trends with which to explain the ups and downs of Jewish representation, a very simple formula makes itself evident through these two graphs: Democratic representation=Jewish representation. Not that we didn't know that when the number of Democrats rises so does the number of Jewish representatives – we did. But the graphs make it clear that the correlation is even tighter than we might have thought.

Bottom line: You want to know if the number of Jews in the House is declining or growing? All you have to do is to follow the fortunes of the Democratic side of the House. That is, unless the Republicans finally achieve the goal that once again proved elusive in November – and get a second GOP Jew to join Eric Cantor in the House.

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