Nate Silver recently wrote an article for FiveThirtyEight called “Republicans Were More United Than Ever Under John Boehner” in which he analyzes the imminent resignation of Speaker John Boehner. SIlver starts his article noting the fact that despite Boehner being forced out, he actually was able to unite the Republican party very well. The current GOP Congress is historically one of the most united as hardly ever has there been such a large majority that has voted together so often. This is especially because of a strong opposition by the GOP to the current Democrats/Obama. Silver explains that despite this the party is very divided, with hardly any unity behind a presidential candidate and a group of conservatives called the Freedom Caucus encouraging the resignation of Boehner.
Silver uses two graphics to effectively back up his case that the GOP is currently both very united and very divided. The first evidence Silver uses is the Party Unity Score, which “measures the unanimity of voting within one party when it stands in opposition to the other party.” He notes that the GOP Party Unity Score of 94.6% is the highest in the party’s history. He contrasts this using a graph that shows the ideological gap between Republicans within the party. As this time, the gap between the most conservative and the most moderate is the highest of all time. Silver uses two great examples to defend his point that the GOP is both very united (against the Democrats) and very divided (in ideology).