Thursday, June 9, 2011

GovTrack Provides Interesting Look at How Liberal or Conservative Legislators Are

So how liberal or conservative is your favorite Congressman or Congresswoman? Well, GovTrack has a great measuring tool to find out.

For example, Senator Richard Lugar is the third most liberal Republican in Congress, according to GovTrack. The moderate Republican trails only Maine's two Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. He is more liberal than Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

I can imagine that you will see Lugar's opposition on the right making an issue out of something like this.

As far as leadership goes, Lugar scores right in the middle, according to the rating. By contrast, Indiana's other Senator, Dan Coats, is one of the lowest in leadership score.

Before you scoff at the rating system, Socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont is rated as the most liberal Senator along with Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, and Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma is rated as the most conservative Senator. Nevada's Harry Reid rates highest on leadership for the Democrats, and Kentucky's Mitch McConnell is the highest on the Republican side.

The House graph is harder to read, but it is just as interesting. Among the Indiana delegation, Congressman André Carson is rated as the most liberal Congressman, and Congressman Dan Burton is the most conservative. In fact, Burton is the most conservative Representative in Congress, according to the survey that is based on issues ratings.

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