An analysis of voting in House districts last year shows that about three-fourths of the winning candidates ran ahead of President Reagan despite his landslide reelection, raising questions about how much his victory can be used to persuade House members to support him.
The voting analysis by the National Journal showed that at least 309 and possibly several more of the 435 victorious House candidates ran ahead of Reagan and only about 116 trailed him in the vote count. A precise count isn't available because there are no final tabulations in New York and Louisiana.
Republican congressional leaders were interested in the breakdown to help find Democrats susceptible to the argument that their political survival may depend on supporting the president. But important votes so far this year show no correlation between Reagan's performance in a Democratic member's district and the member's vote, according to the National Journal survey.
Of the 61 Democrats who supported Reagan on funding for the MX missile, only 14 ran behind him in November. Of the 24 Republicans who defied him on the missile vote, 22 ran ahead of him last year.
The study indicates that party affiliation had little to do with whether Reagan ran ahead of House candidates. He outpolled 59 Republicans and 57 Democrats, with the numbers possibly offering Democrats some hope about the West, where Republicans have a strong Electoral College lock.
In every region except the West, Reagan outpolled Democrats and Republicans in equal numbers. In the West he ran ahead of 15 Republicans and only four Democrats.