New Lifetime Voting Ratings: Part I: '08 Pres. Contenders

Frist diary ever!  Also, cross-posted with Daily Kos, but I thought the folks at MyDD would find this interesting.  I'm looking at the updated voting records amongst those in Congress.  What I do (and have done for the last 3 years) is take the lifetime voting ratings of two organizations, Americans for Democratic Action, and the American Conservative Union, and average their ratings to come up with what I consider something close to a definitive vote ratking for all members of Congress.  This aims to show how liberal, moderate or conservative a given member of Congress is.

Why the ADA & ACU?  They have among the longest history of doing such vote ratings, the ADA having released ratings back to 1948, the ACU since 1971.  This allows for historical comparison with Representatives & Senators of the past 50 years using fairly similar criteria.  Plus, the groups aren't particularly focused on one issue or another.  Rather, one advocates liberal causes, the other, conservative causes.  By averaging the two, I think you reach something close to a good idea where a member of Congress stands.  And yes, I have pondered adding other ratings, such as the National Journal's and Congressional Quarterly's rankings.  I leave them out because (1) there's not as much history, (2) especially in the National Journal's case, I'm not hot on their methodology (evenly spacing out all members instead of showing exactly how liberal or conservative a member is) and (3) it takes long enough averaging the numbers of 535 Representatives & Senators from 2 organizations, much less adding a 3rd or 4th.

I'm starting today with the ratings of the current or likely 2008 Presidential contenders.  I've included their average lifetime ratingbetween the ACU & ADA (100 being perfectly liberal, 0 perfectly conservative), then including their lifetime rating from each organization.  In case you're wondering how Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama got 90s from the ACU, I flipped their numbers for comparison's sake (Obama actually got an 8 from the ACU, Clinton a 9, etc.).  

I left Al Gore out, mainly since I forgot, but also since he seems to have gotten more liberal since his House & Senate days, and his lifetime rating might not reflect where he's at today.  If anyone asks, I can dig up his numbers for tomorrow.  Also, no Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney, mainly since they were never in Congress.

Here we go:

Democrats:

Barack Obama    94.8    (ACU:  92,         ADA:  97.5)
Hillary Clinton    93.4    (ACU:  91,        ADA:  95.8)
Dennis Kucinich    89.6    (ACU:  89.7,    ADA:  89.5)
Chris Dodd    89.3    (ACU:  91.7,        ADA:  87)
John Edwards    83.8    (ACU:  90,    ADA:  77.7)
Joe Biden    81    (ACU:  86.6,    ADA:  75.5)
Bill Richardson    77.5    (ACU:  82,    ADA:  73)
Mike Gravel    71.5    (ACU:  86,    ADA:  57)

Republicans:

Sam Brownback    5    (ACU:  6,    ADA:  4)
Tom Tancredo    5.8    (ACU:  2.3,    ADA:  9.4)
Duncan Hunter    6.8    (ACU:  8,    ADA:  5.6)
Newt Gingrich    8    (ACU:  10,    ADA:  6)
Fred Thompson    10.8    (ACU:  14,    ADA:  7.5)
Chuck Hagel    12.2    (ACU:  14.8,    ADA:  9.7)
John McCain    15.9    (ACU:  17.7,    ADA:  14)
Ron Paul    25.6    (ACU:  17.8,    ADA:  33.5)

Data sources:

ACU

ADA

This merely gives another perspective on where the '08 candidates stand.  Maybe you prefer other rankings, maybe you judge a candidate by other factors than how liberal or conservative they are.  Just some more data to consider.  If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I'll show the ratings for the last session of the Senate, followed by House liberals on Wednesday, House moderates on Thursday and House conservatives on Friday.

Tags: 2008, ACU, ADA, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Chuck Hagel, Dennis Kucinich, duncan hunter, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, joe biden, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Gravel, newt gingrich, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, vote ratings (all tags)

Comments

1 Comment

Re: New Lifetime Voting Ratings: Part I: '08 Pres.
how interesting.  I've read a couple of ratings of some others and like yours cannot understand how Clinton gets such a high ranking.
Alot of her record doesn't seem to bear it out.  Obama is a true liberal and his record here and in the US Senate bear this out.
by vwcat 2007-03-19 07:18PM | 0 recs

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