Democratic Congressman Says He Voted For McCain
When it comes to finding a Democratic incumbent who’s distancing himself from the White House, it’s hard to find anyone further away than Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor:
It’s the ultimate in distancing yourself from your party: Rep. Gene Taylor, a Democrat from Mississippi, said in an interview with Mississippi’s Sun Herald that he voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.
Taylor has often broken with his own party, and has repeatedly criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for being too liberal in this campaign cycle – even though he voted her to be speaker in 2007 and 2009.
He now says that’s over.
“I will not support her for speaker again” Taylor said in the interview. “I’m very disappointed in how she’s veered to the left.”
Taylor said he would throw his support behind Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton, another moderate Democrat and the chair of the House Armed Services Committee
This is unlikely to hurt Taylor:
Taylor won a full term in 1990 with 81 percent of the vote. He faced tough reelection bids in 1992, 1994 and 1996. However, since 1998 he has skated to reelection by an average of 71 percent of the vote. His district was renumbered the 4th after the 2000 redistricting cost Mississippi a congressional seat.
Taylor’s hold on the 4th is particularly remarkable since it is, on paper, one of the most Republican districts in the nation. The 4th has not supported the official Democratic presidential candidate since 1956 (when the Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson). It is currently the most Republican district in the nation to be represented by a Democrat, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+20. In the last three elections, it has given the Republican presidential candidate his best total in the state.
In other words, Taylor is one of those Southern Democrats who may as well be a Republican.