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Sixth Assignment
Due 21 March 2001

  1. The aim of this problem is to study the effect that being chosen as a Vice Presidential running mate has on a Senator's roll call voting record. We are going to start with Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania who was selected by Ronald Reagan to be his running mate in 1976 just prior to the Republican convention. Download the following roll call data sets:

    94th Senate Roll Call Matrix

    95th Senate Roll Call Matrix

    Combined 94th and 95th Senate Roll Call Matrix

    The combined data matrix has one record for each unique Senator who served in either or both the 94th and 95th Senates. In effect, we are treating the two Senates as if they were one Congress. If a member served in both Senates then his record contains both the 1311 roll calls for the 94th plus the 1156 roll calls for the 95th for a total of 2467 roll calls. If a member served in the 94th but not the 95th, then his record has the 1311 votes for the 94th followed by 1156 zeroes (in other words, it is as if he did not vote in the 2nd half of the "Congress"). If a member served in the 95th but not the 94th, then his record has 1311 zeroes for the 94th followed by the 1156 votes in the 95th (in other words, it is as if he did not vote in the 1st half of the "Congress").

    When we use the combined matrix we are assuming that Senators do not change their ideal points between Senates!

    We are going to start by running these three roll call matrices through a large-matrix version of my optimal classification program -- PERFL_2006. This version has been dimensioned large enough so that we can analyze roll call matrices with up to 21000 roll call votes. Download the program and its "control card" file and place them in the same directory as the roll call votes.

    Large Version Maximum Classification Program -- Can be compiled with gfortran. (The R Package can be accessed from this page.)

    Control Card File for Classification Program

    The control card file for a one dimensional scaling looks like this:
        1 2467   10   19    2    4   20 0.025    3
    1. Run PERFL_2006 in one, two, and three dimensions on all three roll call matrices. Report the one, two, and three dimensional correct classification percentages and use Excel to make a graph of the eigenvalues of the double-centered squared distance matrix computed from the agreement scores from the combined matrix.

    2. Use SPSS to make a graph of the two dimensional results of all three scalings. In the combined scaling, note that Schweiker is represented as three points! -- one constraining him to be at the same point for both Congresses, one for his voting in the 94th only, and one for the 95th only. Highlight Schweiker's ideal points on all of your plots.

    3. Put the coordinate output files into Excel and compute the correlations between the corresponding two and three dimensional solutions for all three matrices. Note that this will require some ingenuity on your part because not all the Senators served in both Senates and note that the rows in the combined file are slightly different from the rows in the 94th and 95th files. Report the correlations one dimension at a time for each dimensionality using the format below:
            One Dimension Scalings
                PERF 1d    KYST 1d         WNOM 1d
      PERF 1d  1		
      KYST 1d	-0.92682	1	
      WNOM 1d	-0.95408	0.990908	1
            Two Dimensional Scalings
       	1 PERF 2d	1 KYST 2d	1 WNOM 2d
      1 PERF 2d	1		
      1 KYST 2d	0.99034	1	
      1 WNOM 2d	1	0.99034 	1
       	2 PERF 2d	2 KYST 2d	2 WNOM 2d
      2 PERF 2d	1		
      2 KYST 2d	0.592688	1	
      2 WNOM 2d	1	0.592688	1
  2. Download HOUSYM3.FOR and its control card file below. It is a large version of the HOUSYM3 program we used in previous homeworks to compute an agreement score matrix.

    HOUSYM3.F95 -- FORTRAN 95 Agreement Score Program. Can easily be compiled with gfortran.

    symstrt3.dat -- Control Card File for HOUSYM3 Program

    Use HOUSYM3 to get an agreement score matrix for the 94th, 95th, and combined 94th and 95th Senates. Run the three agreement score matrices through KYST. Report the one, two, and three dimensional STRESS values for each matrix and use Excel to compute the correlations between the two and three dimensional coordinates from KYST with those from PERFL_2006.

  3. In prepartion for our project to study whether or not Senator Lieberman of Connecticut changed his voting behavior because of his selection as former Vice President Gore's running mate in 2000, you need to download all the Senate roll call votes taken to date from:

    U.S. Congress Web Site (Thomas)

    Using your browser, save the roll call vote web pages as text files! Using Epsilon inset the following text at the very top of each web page:

    ****ROLL CALL NUMBER****

    followed by the vote number twice so it looks like this:
    ****ROLL CALL NUMBER****  12  12 Vote Number 12
          U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes
          107th Congress - 1st Session (2001)
          as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk 
          under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
    This is the 12th roll call vote. Note that the blank lines will be present when you save the web page as a text file (don't worry about the blank lines).

    Download the 105th Senate roll call votes

    105th Senate Roll Call Data

    and run PERFL_2006 in one dimension (there are 612 roll call votes). Take the rank ordering (remember that in PERF25.DAT the Senators are shown first sorted in rank order) and find the cutpoint that best classifies the Ashcroft confirmation vote (number 8, 1 February 2001). Note that you are using the 105th Senate to classify a vote in the 107th so that there will be a number of missing Senators. Compare your results to those I have posted on my website under "analyses of recent politics." Based upon his rank position in the 105th, should Senator Lieberman have voted for Ashcroft? Turn in all of your calculations.