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Committed Senate Liberals Committed Senate Liberals

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Committed Senate Liberals

These are the top 20 liberals among currently sitting senators, based on an average of their composite scores going back to 1981, when National Journal began calculating the vote ratings. They have formidable experience, with all but one having served in Congress for a decade or longer. And with a former Senate Democrat now holding the presidency, they are eager to fulfill longtime progressive goals.

Lifetime First Average Elected Composite to Senate Liberal score

 1st         Jack Reed, D-R.I.               1996             89.7
 2nd         Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.         1992             89.1
 3rd         Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.         1962             88.7
 4th (tie)   Richard Durbin, D-Ill.          1996             88.0
 4th (tie)   Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.           2006             88.0
 6th         Robert Menendez, D-N.J.         2006*            87.5
 7th         Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.      2006             87.3
 8th         Tom Harkin, D-Iowa              1984             87.1
 9th         Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.        1982**           86.6
 10th        Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.            1974             86.0
 11th        Carl Levin, D-Mich.             1978             85.1
 12th        John Kerry, D-Mass.             1984             85.0
 13th        Patty Murray, D-Wash.           1992             84.0
 14th        Ben Cardin, D-Md.               2006             83.0
 15th        Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii          1990*            82.4
 16th        Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.        2000             82.2
 17th        Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.         1986             82.1
 18th        Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.         1998             80.5
 19th        Russell Feingold, D-Wis.        1992             80.2
 20th        Ron Wyden, D-Ore.               1996             79.8


*Appointed that year.
**Did not serve 2001-02.


This article appears in the February 28, 2009 edition of National Journal Magazine Contents.

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