This was predictable, I suppose, but it’s remarkable to see how strong a relationship there is between today’s failed vote on the bailout and the competitive nature of different House races.
Among 38 incumbent congressmen in races rated as “toss-up” or “lean” by Swing State Project, just 8 voted for the bailout as opposed to 30 against: a batting average of .211.
By comparison, the vote among congressmen who don’t have as much to worry about was essentially even: 197 for, 198 against.
Say what you want about the failure of the bailout bill (and I won’t say much, since I’m really not in a position to evaluate whether this was the best course of action), the one thing it does show is the value of accountability to voters. As the geniuses at FiveThirtyEight point out, the most likely group to vote against the plan were congressmen in tight House races: