National Journal Rates Congressional Voting Records from 2006

Rep. Diana DeGette is the most liberal member of Congress in Colorado.  OK, not much surprise there, but read on and check out the variation among Republicans based on the type of issue.  Since when are Democrats the party of ideological consistency?Here are the overall numbers:

The liberal and conservative ratings estimate how one member of Congress’ voting record compares with all other members (e.g. DeGette is more liberal than 87.8% of other members of the House, while 12.2% are more conservative than she is).  National Journal also breaks out the ratings by economic (E), social (S) and foreign policy (F) issues:

A list of the specific votes used to come up with these rankings can be found here for the Senate and here for the House. 

The methodology for coming up with the ratings can be found here, but I warn you, it is likely to make your brain hurt.  At least, that’s what it did to mine. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the Senate numbers are not comparable with the House numbers, as they faced different votes.

Especially interesting is the variation by issue area for Republicans.  Beauprez was more conservative than any other Republican on foreign policy and economic issues, whereas he was more liberal than his fellow Republicans on social issues.  Maybe that’s what gave him his “moderate” image?

As for the Democrats, could John Salazar be any more consistently moderate?

As myDD points out, another way to gauge the voting records of members of Congress is their voting loyalty with the position of their party leadership and with President Bush’s positions.  Those ratings have more to do with party loyalty, though, as opposed to ideology.

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Mark Mehringer

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