Twenty-eight Republicans voted yes on the debt ceiling vote and unlike some past votes that broke with most of the GOP, this one does not look like it was driven by members in tough re-election fights.
Instead it looks mainly about the leadership (including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.) along with some added members who took a tough vote. We count just five of the 28 running for re-election who are in some of the tougher general election fights for 2014.
The average partisanship of the districts of "yes" voting Republicans is +5 for the GOP, which is a fairly comfortable number these days (and which is partly explained by the votes of House leadership, who tend to hail from safer districts.) Still, it was far from a leadership sweep - with members like Republican Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as "no" votes as well as some committee chairs.
The other interesting note is geography: most of the "yes" votes came from members in blue states - even if not in marginal districts - including a heavy contingent from California, New York, and Pennsylvania.
We'll watch to see whether some conservative groups urge primaries against any of the members - which has generally been a threat through previous fiscal fights. But politically that's a delicate balance. Given the polling hit that the party took during the last shutdown, some will argue that avoiding another such prolonged battle could have saved broader damage to the party brand. On average, their districts are comfortable for the GOP, but not entirely unassailable should a Republican incumbent be replaced in a primary.
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