Fill Out Your Congressional Bracket

Some people rank the college basketball strength of schedule. Some people rank the strength of congressional delegations.

Congress.org has released its rankings of all of the members of Congress based on how much power they can be expected to exercise this coming session.The Colorado state delegation, while showing some individual strength, fared poorly collectively, coming in fiftieth — out of 55, because four territories and the District of Columbia are included — in the power that can be expected from its members. It might be seen as slightly humiliating that the Colorado delegation ranks below those of American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, even though those delegations can’t vote on the floor.

Since the Democrats now control both houses, state Democrats are considered to be more powerful in these rankings than Republicans. Ken Salazar is the tipping point in the Senate, the 50th most powerful member out of the happy hundred. Wayne Allard, 50th in 2005 and 57th in 2006, dropped to 65 this year.

In the House, Diana DeGette came in at 116th, Mark Udall at 121, John Salazar at 220, and Ed Perlmutter at 271.

For House Republicans, Marilyn Musgrave has the most sand, 416; Tom Tancredo is 427 (which seems a little low for a putative presidential candidate); and Doug Lamborn is 428.

The shift in party control shows in the shift in power rankings. DeGette jumped up 276 places; Udall, 231, Salazar 136. Musgrave dropped 252;  and Tancredo, -158. Freshmen Lamborn and Perlmutter had no previous ratings.

Ken Salazar jumped 40 places in the Senate; and Allard dropped eight spots.

The most powerful senator in the Senate is Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — well, duh — and the most powerful Congressperson is Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — see above, under Reid. The least powerful Senator is Tennessee Republican Bob Corker. In the House, the booby prize went to Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson.

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Dan Whipple

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