The 2023 legislative rankings are done. I apologize it took me so long.
In the ten years, Evidence-Based Wyoming has been ranking legislators, never has the schism between liberals and conservatives been more evident.
Evidence-Based Wyoming rankings are based on the entire voting records of the legislators; the rankings are entirely quantitative to ensure the rankings are as bias-free as possible.
Traditionally the rankings are calculated using how the majority of the Republican Caucus and the majority of the Democrat Caucus voted. For the 2023 House of Representatives, that results in this distribution:
From the distribution, it’s hard to argue there are two groups of Republicans, the Red, and the Purple.
Recently a caucus for liberal Republicans was formed, misleadingly dubbed the ‘Wyoming Caucus.’ Interestingly enough, if you select the most liberal member of the Democrat caucus, Rep. Yin, and the leader of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, Rep. Bear, as the starts for Democrat and Republican respectively, a clearer picture develops:
Unsurprisingly, the purple dots, which represent Republicans who vote near the average Democrat legislator than the average Republican legislator, contain many of the members of this new caucus. Rep. Stith, Rep. Crago, Rep. Harshman, and both Reps. Zwonitzer’ are all purple dots.
The fracture in the Wyoming Republican is not new. Evidence-Based Wyoming has been delineating and detailing the bifurcation for over ten years. It is only now that the conservatives are making gains in stopping the big-spending liberals that the liberals are realizing they are in trouble and need to do something to shore up their power base.
If you doubt this illustrates the split between liberals and conservatives, examine the 2023 Budget Conservatives vote analysis. This analysis is built by assuming the conservative position is by default against new spending and for budget cuts. So if a legislator votes for more spending, they get a red X for that vote and a green check for voting against increased spending. The same is true for voting against budget cuts; voting against cuts gets a red X, vote for budget cuts gets a green check. Unsurprisingly there are 13 Republicans that vote for more spending and fewer cuts than all the Democrats.
Wyoming is no longer a fight between Democrats and Republicans; it’s between big-spending liberals and traditional conservative Republicans.