How partisan are your state’s legislators?

Source: Thom Neale, Sunlight Foundation, June 11, 2014

Since the release of the Open States project, we’ve seen a lot of interesting analyses of its data. But we think that only the surface of what’s possible has been scratched. Using voting records from the Open States project, I calculated how liberal or conservative (almost) every state lawmaker is, then wrangled the scores into a d3.js visualization along with several other variables.

The methodology is explained in more detail below (and all my source code is on GitHub), but the chart is a scatter plot that positions each legislator on a liberal-conservative spectrum relative to their peers. It also plots the success of their proposed legislation relative to their peers and shows the extent to which other legislators agree to cosponsor their legislation. Go ahead and mouse over some of the bubbles to see each legislator’s picture and effectiveness scores, then read on to learn about the methodology behind the numbers. You can view a different jurisdiction or legislative session by choosing it from the drop-down menu above the chart.