Conservative Democrat Blue Dog caucus cut in half

In a fell swoop, the once-powerful Blue Dog caucus of conservative House Democrats was reduced from 54 members to 26 in Tuesday’s midterm election.

The caucus lost two members to retirement and two others who ran for higher office, and out of the remaining 50 members, 24 Blue Dogs lost.

There were still a few Blue Dogs in tight races that had yet to be called early on Wednesday morning. There is the potential for more losses, though most of them look likely to hold on.

Two members of the leadership – Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota and Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana – both lost to Republican challengers.

Two other leaders of the group – Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah – survived the bloodbath election. Both Shuler and Matheson voted against President Obama’s health care bill in March.

It was harder to spot a clear trend regarding the impact of the health care vote. Of the 24 members who lost their races, 13 of them had voted for Obama’s health care overhaul, while 11 voted against it.

Similarly, of the 34 Democrats who voted against the health care bill in March – 24 of them were Blue Dogs – only 12 won reelection.

Here are the Blue Dogs that remain:

Altmire, Jason (PA4)
Baca, Joe (CA43)*
Barrow, John (GA12)*
Bishop, Sanford (GA2)
Boren, Dan (OK2)
Boswell, Leonard (IA3)*
Cardoza, Dennis (CA18)*
Chandler, Ben (KY06)
Cooper, Jim (TN5)*
Costa, Jim (CA20)*
Cuellar, Henry (TX28)*
Donnelly, Joe (IN2)*
Giffords, Gabrielle (AZ8)*
Harman, Jane (CA36)*
Holden, Tim (PA17)
McIntyre, Mike (NC7)
Matheson, Jim (UT2)
Michaud, Mike (ME2)*
Peterson, Collin (MN7)
Ross, Mike (AR4)
Sanchez, Loretta (CA47)*
Schiff, Adam (CA29)*
Schrader, Kurt (OR5)*
Scott, David (GA13)*
Shuler, Heath (NC11)

Here are the Blue Dogs who lost:

Arcuri, Mike (NY24)
Boyd, Allen (FL2)*
Bright, Bobby (AL2)
Carney, Chris (PA10)*
Childers, Travis (MS1)
Dahlkemper, Kathy (PA3)*
Davis, Lincoln (TN4)
Gordon, Bart (TN6)*
Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie (SD)
Hill, Baron (IN9)*
Kratovil, Frank (MD1)
Markey, Betsy (CO4)*
Marshall, Jim (GA8)
Minnick, Walt (ID1)
Mitchell, Harry (AZ5)*
Moore, Dennis (KS3)*
Murphy, Patrick (PA8)*
Murphy, Scott (NY20)*
Nye, Glenn (VA2)
Pomeroy, Earl (ND)*
Salazar, John (CO3)*
Space, Zack (OH18)
Taylor, Gene (MS4)
Wilson, Charles (0H6)*

*indicates a vote for President Obama’s health care bill in March

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  • dandapani

    Blue Dog Democrats are a myth. The Dogs healed when called by Pelosi. A few were given permission to sit out the HealthCare vote. But most rolled over and I doubt they got their bellies rubbed.

  • erisian

    For those who hoped that the election results might lead the Dems to soften a bit just need to do the math from this story. The House Dem Caucus shrunk yesterday, and the biggest losers were the Blue Dogs; this only makes the Caucus MORE progressive as a whole. The Dems in the House are, by percentages, even more liberal than before.

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com apollospeaks


    Arianna Huffington laments that the big message of yesterday’s election is that “the public has lost faith in government.” That is almost correct. What they’ve lost faith in is Big Government Liberalism, now called Obamunism: the big lie that government is the answer to man’s quest for happiness and a rich, productive and meaningful life. Arianna also laments that Republicans who won big last night have no new ideas. That is true insofar as the GOP represents the old, wise, time tested ideas of the Founders: God gave man life and liberty to pursue happiness; and the purpose of government is to protect life and liberty so that man can achieve his dreams. That government is the dream maker for human beings is the lie, the big lie, the proven lie that leads to tyranny, bankruptcy, dehumanization and misery as we’ve seen throughout history and is happening today. It is belief in this lie, this utopian concept of government, that America is losing its faith and that Obama and the Dems are radically destroying.

    Sooner or later Arianna will lament that when she changed from Right to Left she joined the wrong side of history. Again I say:

    The Age of Liberalism is over,
    It’s finished with and done.
    And a new and glorious chapter
    In our country’s heroic history
    Is about to begin.

    Google ApolloSpeaks at townhall.com for my NUMBER ONE townhall blog.

  • snappercat

    Only recognize Reps. Harman and Murphy. How many of the that group were reelected? Murphy lost; of course, he wasn’t a true blue dog, voted with Pelosi/Obama down the line.

  • lht

    Objectively, this does not make much difference. Blue Dog Democrats who never voted for the “liberal agenda” replaced by Republicans who will not vote for the “liberal agenda.” Sounds like half of last night’s turnover was pretty much a non-event.

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  • rainmaker1145

    They made their decisions and America made its decision. Decisions have consequences – even for liberal dirt bags.

    • ER5150

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • des1

    We know that a handful of these “Conservative” Democrats promised to vote for the health care bill, but were let off the hook when Pelosi announced she had the votes. It was widely reported at the time.

    Sorry, the Bluedogs let us down (at least most of them have). They weren’t totally corrupt, but enough that Obama got through everything he wanted (even Cap & Trade passed the House).