Yahoo’s Chris Wilson has created a dynamic representation of voting in (arguably) the worlds greatest deliberative body. Wilson describes the exercise:
“For every member, I calculated which other senators voted the same way at least 75 percent of the time. In effect, this organizes the Senate as a mini-Facebook of 100 users, in which any given pair of senators are friends if they meet this 75-percent threshold….Visualizations like this one work by treating the senators as particles that repel one another, and treating the connections between them as springs that hold them together. Because the Democrats vote so cohesively, with few defectors, they are held together by a large number of springs.”
Here is the output:
What’s abundantly clear from this is that Republican and Democratic Senators are for the most part in two different universes. They almost never vote together on issues with a few exceptions. All that talk about gridlock in the Senate is pretty much true.