Here’s an interesting, contextless fact. I just crunched some numbers on bill copatrons in the legislature in the past four years, looking at who legislators tend to copatrons bills with. (I hope to add this as a Richmond Sunlight feature very soon.) As you can imagine, Democrats tend to copatrons bills with more Democrats than Republicans, and Republicans tend to copatrons bills with more Republicans with Democrats, with each party averaging around 60% of their pool of copatrons being members of the same party. (Each legislator has many thousands of copatroning relationships—it’s a pretty rich source of data, as it turns out.) Some folks, like Jeff Frederick, are really quite partisan in their copatroning—north of 70% of his copatrons are Republicans. The ostensible independents turn out to be relatively conservative by this metric, though it should come as no surprise—56% of Watkins Abbitt‘s copatrons and 60% of Lacey Putney‘s are Republicans.
Anyhow, within this tiny modicum of context, here’s the fun fact. Brian Moran’s pool of copatrons are 62% Democratic. Creigh Deeds are 52% Democratic. Of the few dozen legislators that I’ve checked, Moran appears to be somewhat above average in partisanship, while Deeds has the single lowest partisan copatron rate of any of them.
Moran supporters will interpret that as meaning that Deeds is a dirty conservative, while my fellow Deeds supporters will interpret that as meaning that he’s got the bipartisan cred to get elected. But there it is.