March 11, 2008

Who's the most Conservative of them all?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who's the most conservative of them all?
When it comes to Wisconsin's Congressional delegation, do you really have to ask?

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, is the most Conservative member of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation. And pretty darn Conservative overall, compared to the rest of the House: He voted Conservative 79.7 percent of the time, and is the House's 94th most Conservative member (out of 435).

Click on table to enlarge.

When it comes to votes on foreign issues, Ryan is ranked "more liberal" than 0 percent of other House members.

This unstartling bit of information comes from the National Journal's ratings of all Congressmen, based on an analysis of how they voted on a variety of issues. By their count, Wisconsin Reps. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, are the state's most Liberal, voting that way 95 percent of the time. (And tying for 1st place in the entire House of Representatives, a six-way tie.)

As the National Journal explains: Members are assigned separate scores for their roll-call votes on key economic, social, and foreign-policy issues during 2007. The members are rated in each of the three issue categories on both liberal and conservative scales, with the scores on each scale given as percentiles. An economic score of 72 on the conservative scale, for example, means that the member was more conservative than 72 percent of his or her House colleagues on the key votes in that issue area during 2007. An asterisk [*] means that the member missed more than half of the rated votes in an issue area. Composite scores are an average of the six issue-based scores. Members with the same composite scores are tied in rank.

Click on table to enlarge.

Meanwhile, Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl are among the Senate's most Liberal members. Feingold ranked as the Senate's 10th most Liberal member; Kohl as the 21st.

The complete HOUSE RANKINGS are here.

The complete SENATE RANKINGS are here.

(And just to save you the effort: Hillary Clinton is ranked 16th Liberal, more so than 82.8 percent of the Senate; Barack Obama is the Senate's No. 1 Liberal, more so than 95.5 percent of the Senate. John McCain? Well, he missed too many votes to be categorized.)


  1. Pete,

    Could you at least pretend to be objective?

    Ryan votes conservative 85% of the time...

    Baldwin and more, liberal 95%.

    Who's more extreme?

    Feingold is the most liberal member of the senate yet your writing always favors him.

    At least admit your bias that nothing you write about Ryan is objective.

  2. You guys are doing an incredible job Ryan watching. And, saving me considerable research. I hope I run into sometime so I can buy drinks!

  3. 85%??? I'm a little disappointed, I thought Paul was more conservative than that. I'll have to have a talk with him and get him to lean to the right a little more. Aim for #1 Paul, you can do it!

  4. Oh, geez, I just caught that McCain didn't even get ranked because he missed so many votes!
    That could have been the lead.
    So, I guess he would like to follow in Bush's footsteps regarding war and vacation time.