VOTE RATINGS - Keeping Score

Feb. 1, 2003, 7 a.m.

The Pres­id­en­tial Wanna-bes

Of the sev­en con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats who are run­ning for pres­id­ent in 2004 or have in­dic­ated they might run, Sen. John F. Kerry of Mas­sachu­setts had the most lib­er­al vot­ing re­cord last year and Sen. Bob Gra­ham of Flor­ida had the most con­ser­vat­ive, ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings.

A com­pil­a­tion of the an­nu­al scores for the sev­en Demo­crats over the past 20 years shows that Kerry was the most lib­er­al throughout the peri­od. But Sen. Joe Lieber­man, D-Conn., was slightly more con­ser­vat­ive than Gra­ham over the en­tirety of their years in the Sen­ate.

With lim­ited ex­cep­tions, Kerry’s scores have con­sist­ently placed him to­ward the lib­er­al end of the Sen­ate. Gra­ham, like­wise, has al­ways been among the more con­ser­vat­ive Sen­ate Demo­crats. The rat­ings showed that he was at the ideo­lo­gic­al cen­ter of the cham­ber in 1993, when Demo­crats held the ma­jor­ity. Lieber­man’s scores have been re­mark­ably close to Gra­ham’s, but Lieber­man had an up­ward blip last year, when he earned his most lib­er­al scores of his 14 years in the Sen­ate.

Among the oth­er pres­id­en­tial con­tenders, Sen. John Ed­wards of North Car­o­lina has been in the mod­er­ate-to-con­ser­vat­ive range of Sen­ate Demo­crats dur­ing his four years in the cham­ber. The scores of Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Chris­toph­er J. Dodd of Con­necti­c­ut-both of whom have voiced in­terest in run­ning for pres­id­ent but have not com­mit­ted them­selves-have var­ied more from year to year, al­though the av­er­age scores for each over the past 20 years place them near the cen­ter of Sen­ate Demo­crats.

Dodd, for ex­ample, was among the most lib­er­al sen­at­ors in the early 1980s, then moved to­ward the cen­ter in the early 1990s, but his scores in the past few years have been close to Kerry’s. Biden began the 20-year peri­od with more-con­ser­vat­ive scores, moved left in the early 1990s, and has re­cently settled to­ward the cen­ter of Sen­ate Demo­crats.

Rep. Richard A. Geph­ardt of Mis­souri, the only House mem­ber who has been act­ively pur­su­ing a 2004 pres­id­en­tial bid, has reg­u­larly fallen in the middle of House Demo­crats, ac­cord­ing to the rat­ings. Al­though Geph­ardt’s rank­ings can­not be dir­ectly cor­rel­ated to those of the sen­at­ors-since mem­bers are ranked re­l­at­ive only to oth­ers in the same cham­ber-it is fair to con­clude that his le­gis­lat­ive pro­file places him near the middle of the ideo­lo­gic­al pack of the oth­er Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial wanna-bes.

Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings rank mem­bers of Con­gress on how they vote, re­l­at­ive to each oth­er on a con­ser­vat­ive-to-lib­er­al scale, in each cham­ber. The scores, which have been com­piled each year since 1981, are based on law­makers’ votes in three is­sue areas: eco­nom­ic, so­cial, and for­eign policy. The scores are de­term­ined by a com­puter-as­sisted cal­cu­la­tion that ranks mem­bers from one end of the ideo­lo­gic­al spec­trum to the oth­er, based on key votes-55 in the Sen­ate and 61 in the House-se­lec­ted by Na­tion­al Journ­al re­port­ers and ed­it­ors.

For ex­ample, the res­ults show that on so­cial policy is­sues, Ed­wards last year had a lib­er­al score of 56 and a con­ser­vat­ive score of 38. That means that Ed­wards was more lib­er­al than 56 per­cent of oth­er sen­at­ors on those is­sues and more con­ser­vat­ive than 38 per­cent; he tied the re­main­ing 6 per­cent. The scores do not mean that Ed­wards voted with lib­er­als 56 per­cent of the time, for ex­ample, nor that he was 56 per­cent “cor­rect” from a lib­er­al per­spect­ive. On eco­nom­ic is­sues, Ed­wards’s lib­er­al score was 66 per­cent and his con­ser­vat­ive score was 32 per­cent. That means that his eco­nom­ic votes placed him fur­ther to the left with­in the Sen­ate than did his votes on so­cial is­sues.

Any pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates who come from Con­gress can ex­pect that some of their le­gis­lat­ive votes will be­come cam­paign is­sues. In fact, their vot­ing re­cords will be grist for the op­pos­i­tion re­search that has be­come fun­da­ment­al to mod­ern cam­paigns.

Re­pub­lic­an polit­ic­al con­sult­ant Scott Reed, man­ager of the 1996 pres­id­en­tial cam­paign of Bob Dole, who faced a com­pet­it­ive primary while serving as Sen­ate ma­jor­ity lead­er, said that the pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates’ con­gres­sion­al vot­ing re­cords “mat­ter be­cause the ideo­lo­gic­al groups use them quite ag­gress­ively in the early primary states. And they of­ten play a role in the de­bates, where a can­did­ate has to de­fend his re­cord.”

Steph­en Wayne, a polit­ic­al sci­ence pro­fess­or at Geor­getown Uni­versity, cited the battle for the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion in 2000, when al­lies of George W. Bush at­tacked some en­vir­on­ment­al votes that Sen. John Mc­Cain, R-Ar­iz., had cast in Con­gress. “It cer­tainly gives the op­pos­i­tion an op­por­tun­ity to use cer­tain votes, and to typecast,” Wayne said. “One of the ad­vant­ages that gov­ernors have is that they do not have that track re­cord.”

When con­tac­ted by Na­tion­al Journ­al, aides to sev­er­al of the Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates down­played the sig­ni­fic­ance of the vote rat­ings. Robert Gibbs, who re­cently signed on as Kerry’s cam­paign press sec­ret­ary, said that al­though Kerry’s votes may ap­pear lib­er­al, his broad back­ground as a vet­er­an, a former pro­sec­utor, and an early sup­port­er of a bal­anced budget and edu­ca­tion re­form make him dif­fi­cult to “pi­geon­hole.” Gibbs ad­ded, “Are op­pon­ents go­ing to use la­bels? Of course. I don’t know how ef­fect­ive that will be.”

A Lieber­man aide re­spon­ded that Sen­ate votes “have to be seen in con­text,” be­cause “more and more [votes] these days are not mean­ing­ful votes, but sort of party bed checks.” The aide ad­ded, “Once you get out­side the Belt­way and talk to real people, they are much less in­ter­ested in how you voted in the past than in what your vis­ion is for the fu­ture.” An Ed­wards spokes­man voiced a sim­il­ar re­ac­tion. “What mat­ters is the to­tal­ity of a per­son’s re­cord,” the aide said.

Gra­ham spokes­man Paul An­der­son, who em­phas­ized that his boss has not de­cided wheth­er to run for pres­id­ent, cau­tioned, “In every polit­ic­al cam­paign there is an at­tempt, through op­pos­i­tion re­search, to isol­ate in­di­vidu­al votes and, un­for­tu­nately, mis­rep­res­ent in­di­vidu­al votes.” Cit­ing Gra­ham’s vote last Oc­to­ber against au­thor­iz­ing the use of U.S. mil­it­ary force against Ir­aq, An­der­son said it was “not an anti-war vote,” but “a prin­cipled po­s­i­tion” that the war on ter­ror­ism should be a high­er pri­or­ity. Still, An­der­son con­ceded that Gra­ham’s Ir­aq vote could be in­terepreted in sev­er­al ways.

Geph­ardt spokes­man Erik Smith said that law­makers “have to have a vot­ing re­cord and let the chips fall where they may.” Smith noted, however, that Geph­ardt will not face one po­ten­tial prob­lem that his Sen­ate coun­ter­parts will: Be­cause of the nar­row par­tis­an mar­gin in the Sen­ate, if pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates miss votes while out cam­paign­ing, “it will hurt them with some con­stitu­en­cies,” he said.

In ad­di­tion, Smith noted that the Sen­ate’s more free­wheel­ing pro­ced­ures en­able sen­at­ors to “bring an amend­ment to the floor” to at­tempt to force a vote on nearly any is­sue. Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial con­tenders could use that to their ad­vant­age to try to score polit­ic­al points-but so could Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors look­ing to hurt po­ten­tial rivals to Pres­id­ent Bush.

Rut­gers Uni­versity polit­ic­al sci­ence pro­fess­or Ross K. Baker, who has writ­ten widely about the Sen­ate, called it a com­mon oc­cur­rence for sen­at­ors to of­fer an amend­ment “to make a par­tis­an point, or to dam­age the can­did­acy of a par­tic­u­lar per­son.” And Reed pre­dicted that each of the sen­at­ors run­ning for pres­id­ent will “stake out some ser­i­ous turf” on a few is­sues this year to high­light their con­trasts.

Which past votes will come in­to play, and what new votes may tran­spire, can only be guessed, of course. But the thou­sands of votes that mem­bers of Con­gress cast dur­ing their ca­reers cre­ate abund­ant op­por­tun­it­ies for cam­paign mis­chief.

The Lead­ers

Con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers op­er­ate on the ideo­lo­gic­al edge. By con­trast, most con­gres­sion­al Demo­crat­ic lead­ers fit more com­fort­ably with­in their party’s cen­ter.

As the Na­tion­al Journ­al vote rat­ings for 2002 re­veal, GOP lead­ers ranked to­ward the con­ser­vat­ive fringe of their own party and, of course, of their en­tire cham­bers. In the Sen­ate, for ex­ample, the sev­en most con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers-all Re­pub­lic­ans-in­cluded Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Bill Frist of Ten­ness­ee and Trent Lott of Mis­sis­sippi, whom Frist suc­ceeded as lead­er at the start of the new Con­gress. Also in that group were Ma­jor­ity Whip Mitch Mc­Con­nell of Ken­tucky and Don Nickles of Ok­lahoma, who was Mc­Con­nell’s pre­de­cessor in the GOP’s No. 2 lead­er­ship post. Mc­Con­nell and Nickles, in fact, were among four Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors who had per­fect com­pos­ite con­ser­vat­ive scores of 89 in the rat­ings. (These scores are less than 100 per­cent be­cause of ties in the rat­ings. )

The scores for House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers demon­strated a sim­il­ar pat­tern. Rep. Roy Blunt of Mis­souri, the new ma­jor­ity whip, was one of 13 House Re­pub­lic­ans with a per­fect com­pos­ite con­ser­vat­ive score of 92 in the rat­ings. Close be­hind Blunt among the top House con­ser­vat­ives were Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Tom DeLay of Texas and Dick Armey of Texas, who was DeLay’s pre­de­cessor as ma­jor­ity lead­er, as well as J.C. Watts Jr. of Ok­lahoma, who chaired the House Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence dur­ing the 107th Con­gress. (Armey and Watts re­tired at the end of 2002.) On the oth­er hand, the new con­fer­ence chair­wo­man, De­borah Pryce of Ohio, ranked near the cen­ter of House Re­pub­lic­ans. She brings a slightly more mod­er­ate bent to this year’s House GOP lead­er­ship team.

Demo­crats fell in­to a very dif­fer­ent pat­tern. In the Sen­ate, their top-two party lead­ers-Thomas A. Daschle of South Dakota and Harry Re­id of Nevada-both ranked in the middle of their party. Bar­bara A. Mikul­ski of Mary­land, the No. 3 Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic lead­er, had more lib­er­al scores; she was the 11th most lib­er­al sen­at­or over­all.

Like­wise, in the House, most of the top Demo­crat­ic lead­ers in 2002 and 2003 earned scores that placed them near the middle of House Demo­crats. Richard A. Geph­ardt of Mis­souri and Mar­tin Frost of Texas, last year’s minor­ity lead­er and Demo­crat­ic Caucus chair­man, were in that group, as well as Steny H. Hoy­er of Mary­land, this year’s minor­ity whip, and Robert Men­en­dez of New Jer­sey, the new caucus chair­man. The ex­cep­tion is Nancy Pelosi of Cali­for­nia, who has taken over as minor­ity lead­er. Her scores were among the most lib­er­al in the House.

The vote rat­ings for re­cent years have shown sim­il­ar pat­terns among the lead­er­ship of both parties. The reas­on could be that the rank and file in each party have con­trast­ing ex­pect­a­tions for their lead­ers: Re­pub­lic­ans may look to their lead­ers to serve as the party stand­ard-bear­ers, while Demo­crats prefer their lead­ers to bring to­geth­er their vari­ous view­points. If so, the Pelosi takeover may re­flect a move by House Demo­crats to take a more ag­gress­ive lead­er­ship ap­proach, while the House Re­pub­lic­ans’ se­lec­tion of Pryce could sig­nal a more cau­tious lead­er­ship style.

The Dis­con­nec­ted?

As Demo­crats waged a chal­lenge against Sen. Tim Hutchin­son, R-Ark., in last year’s elec­tion, they saw an op­por­tun­ity. Hutchin­son had ranked as the most con­ser­vat­ive sen­at­or in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings in 2000, and he had tied with sev­er­al oth­ers as the most con­ser­vat­ive in the Sen­ate in 1997 and 1998. Demo­crat Mark Pry­or used the rat­ings as a weapon in his cam­paign ar­sen­al to charge that Hutchin­son had be­come too con­ser­vat­ive for his state. The home of Pres­id­ent Clin­ton, Arkan­sas has had a his­tory of close statewide elec­tions.

In 2001 and 2002, Hutchin­son’s vote rat­ings moved markedly to­ward the cen­ter of the Sen­ate, but it was too late. Pry­or won the elec­tion, 54 to 46 per­cent, and Hutchin­son re­cently joined a K Street law firm as a seni­or ad­viser.

Hutchin­son’s story serves as a les­son to mem­bers of both parties: They run the risk of los­ing their con­nec­tion to loc­al polit­ic­al sen­ti­ments if they routinely vote their con­science in­stead of their con­stitu­ency.

The 2002 NJ rat­ings show that sev­er­al mem­bers at the con­ser­vat­ive and lib­er­al ex­tremes in their cham­ber may be vot­ing out of step with their dis­tricts or states, based on the vote that George W. Bush re­ceived in 2000. Nev­er­the­less, all of those mem­bers who were up for re-elec­tion last year won.

Es­pe­cially in the House, mem­bers in “swing” dis­tricts com­monly win re-elec­tion des­pite be­ing strongly iden­ti­fied with either the Left or the Right. Some mem­bers, such as con­ser­vat­ive Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Cal­if., or lib­er­al Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ill., have con­cluded that they can win over a ma­jor­ity of loc­al voters des­pite ant­ag­on­iz­ing oth­ers. These law­makers pre­vail at home partly be­cause the power of in­cum­bency dis­cour­ages many pro­spect­ive chal­lengers from wa­ging a cam­paign and makes it dif­fi­cult for com­pet­it­ors to raise suf­fi­cient funds.

In oth­er cases, law­makers have man­aged to pro­ject a fairly mod­er­ate im­age back home, even though their votes on Cap­it­ol Hill place them at the far end of the polit­ic­al spec­trum. For ex­ample, new Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Bill Frist, R-Tenn., ranked among the most con­ser­vat­ive sen­at­ors last year. But the former heart sur­geon has pre­vailed-both with loc­al voters and with Sen­ate GOP col­leagues-by tak­ing what ap­pears to be a prag­mat­ic ap­proach in pur­su­ing his per­son­al in­terest in health care is­sues.

The Liber­tari­ans and Pop­u­lists

Con­gress is filled with lots of con­ser­vat­ives, nearly as many lib­er­als, and a shrink­ing co­ter­ie of cent­rists whose votes of­ten are up for grabs. Less fre­quently these days are mem­bers cat­egor­ized as pop­u­lists or liber­tari­ans, even though each group has played a dis­tinct­ive role in Amer­ic­an polit­ic­al his­tory.

As heirs to the 19th-cen­tury ideo­logy pro­claimed by Pres­id­ent An­drew Jack­son, most pop­u­lists sup­port an act­iv­ist gov­ern­ment role in eco­nom­ic policy, and many have also been will­ing to as­sert a fed­er­al role else­where, such as in mak­ing for­eign policy or reg­u­lat­ing in­di­vidu­al be­ha­vi­or. Liber­tari­ans, on the oth­er hand, urge a hands-off gov­ern­ment in all areas. In his New Polit­ic­al Dic­tion­ary, Wil­li­am Safire de­scribes this group as res­ist­ing “gov­ern­ment en­croach­ment on in­di­vidu­al liber­ties.” Liber­tari­ans be­lieve that pub­lic of­fi­cials should take a lais­sez-faire ap­proach to busi­ness, steer clear of en­tangling for­eign al­li­ances, and stay out of people’s per­son­al lives.

Na­tion­al Journ­al’s rat­ings, which ex­am­ine law­makers’ votes in three cat­egor­ies-eco­nom­ic, so­cial, and for­eign policy-pro­duce a list­ing of Con­gress’s liber­tari­an and pop­u­list mem­bers. Ap­ply­ing the his­tor­ic­al stand­ards, pop­u­lists reg­u­larly voted with the lib­er­als on eco­nom­ic is­sues, but with the con­ser­vat­ives on either so­cial is­sues or for­eign policy. Liber­tari­ans, on the oth­er hand, voted con­ser­vat­ive on eco­nom­ic is­sues and lib­er­al on either so­cial or for­eign policy.

In the House, all of the 20 mem­bers whose 2002 rat­ings cat­egor­ized them as liber­tari­ans were Re­pub­lic­ans. All but two of the 17 pop­u­lists in the House were Demo­crats, and about half were South­ern­ers in the tra­di­tion of “Old Hick­ory,” as Jack­son was known. The Sen­ate res­ults show three liber­tari­ans and one pop­u­list-but their par­tis­an af­fil­i­ations don’t fit the usu­al pat­tern, partly be­cause all four of them were among the hand­ful of sen­at­ors who straddled the cen­ter of that cham­ber on most is­sues.

A few law­makers could serve as mod­ern-day icons for each move­ment. Prob­ably the best ex­ample is Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who was the Liber­tari­an Party’s pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee in 1988, when he drew 432,000 votes. Paul’s le­gis­lat­ive votes leave him in­creas­ingly isol­ated among Re­pub­lic­ans. Al­though he agrees with many of the party’s eco­nom­ic policies, he of­ten parts com­pany on oth­er is­sues-ran­ging from his votes against abor­tion re­stric­tions to his op­pos­i­tion last fall to au­thor­iz­ing the use of U.S. mil­it­ary force against Ir­aq.

On the oth­er side of the spec­trum, Demo­crat­ic Rep. Charles W. Sten­holm, also from Texas, ex­em­pli­fies pop­u­lism. He takes an act­iv­ist ap­proach to some fed­er­al spend­ing, not­ably for farm­ers, but he is more likely to side with con­ser­vat­ives on so­cial is­sues such as strict en­force­ment of crim­in­al laws and vig­or­ous sup­port for the mil­it­ary. Like Paul, Sten­holm has some­times voted in­de­pend­ently of his party es­tab­lish­ment. Dur­ing the or­gan­iz­a­tion­al pro­ceed­ings for the 108th Con­gress on Janu­ary 7, he was one of four House Demo­crats who did not cast the usu­ally routine vote for their party lead­er-Nancy Pelosi of Cali­for­nia-as speak­er.

In re­cent years, pop­u­lists and liber­tari­ans have be­come shrink­ing breeds in both cham­bers. In 1985, for ex­ample, the vote rat­ings showed 69 pop­u­lists in Con­gress (com­pared with only 18 in 2002) and 64 liber­tari­ans (com­pared with 23 in 2002). The trends re­flect polit­ic­al factors such as the de­cline in the num­ber of South­ern Demo­crats, es­pe­cially in rur­al areas, and the con­cur­rent drop in mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­ans, par­tic­u­larly in the North­east.

Sen­ate Twins and Odd Couples

The Sen­ate, where 100 mem­bers fam­ously go their own way, has a long tra­di­tion of home-state sen­at­ors from the same party clash­ing as they sep­ar­ately strive to make their marks. New Jer­sey Demo­crat­ic Sens. Frank Lauten­berg and Robert G. Tor­ri­celli of­fer a re­cent ex­ample; their nasty-even pro­fane-battles are now part of Cap­it­ol Hill lore.

Brown Uni­versity polit­ic­al sci­ence pro­fess­or Wendy Schiller looked at such pairs of sen­at­ors in her book Part­ners and Rivals: Rep­res­ent­a­tion in U.S. Sen­ate Del­eg­a­tions. “The in­cent­ive to dif­fer­en­ti­ate with­in a Sen­ate del­eg­a­tion,” Schiller con­cluded, “is a com­bin­a­tion of elect­or­al in­cent­ives and in­sti­tu­tion­al forces that push sen­at­ors in con­trast­ing dir­ec­tions.”

Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2002 vote rat­ings found three pairs of home-state sen­at­ors of the same party who of­ten went their sep­ar­ate ideo­lo­gic­al ways. These “odd couples” are Ari­zona’s Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors, con­ser­vat­ive Jon Kyl and mod­er­ate John Mc­Cain; Pennsylvania’s Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors, con­ser­vat­ive Rick San­tor­um and mod­er­ate Ar­len Specter; and Geor­gia’s Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors, cent­rist Max Cle­land and con­ser­vat­ive Zell Miller.

Al­though Kyl and Mc­Cain have scores that are far apart, each has been eas­ily re-elec­ted, and they do not ap­pear to have had sig­ni­fic­ant prob­lems with each oth­er. Cle­land, however, lost re-elec­tion last Novem­ber, in part be­cause Re­pub­lic­ans un­fa­vor­ably com­pared his re­cord on vari­ous eco­nom­ic and de­fense is­sues with that of Miller, who is more pop­u­lar at home. A sim­il­ar con­flict could arise between San­tor­um and Specter, who is up for re-elec­tion in 2004. In re­cent weeks, however, San­tor­um has served his home-state col­league’s in­terests by ur­ging fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans to sup­port Specter, even though con­ser­vat­ive Rep. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., has voiced in­terest in mount­ing a primary chal­lenge.

Mean­while, this year’s rat­ings of­fer nu­mer­ous ex­amples of home-state sen­at­ors with strik­ingly sim­il­ar vot­ing re­cords. One such pair of “twins” is Maine’s mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­ans, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. They rarely dis­agree on is­sues, of­ten work to­geth­er on le­gis­lat­ive pro­jects, and co­oper­at­ively seek to pro­tect their state’s pa­ro­chi­al in­terests. Like­wise, Wash­ing­ton Demo­crats Maria Can­t­well and Patty Mur­ray have nearly identic­al scores, and they have worked closely on na­tion­al and loc­al is­sues. At home, each has faced dif­fi­cult cam­paigns and has been at­tacked by Re­pub­lic­ans as too lib­er­al.

The part­ner­ship of South Dakota Demo­crats Thomas A. Daschle and Timothy P. John­son be­came polit­ic­al fod­der for the GOP in last year’s elec­tion. Re­pub­lic­ans chal­lenged John­son’s re-elec­tion by some­times at­tempt­ing to link him in neg­at­ive terms to Daschle, who was then the ma­jor­ity lead­er. Al­though John­son made sure to es­tab­lish his in­de­pend­ence for loc­al con­sump­tion, Daschle worked hard to help him win a nar­row con­test over then-Rep. John Thune, who had ex­tens­ive sup­port from Pres­id­ent Bush.

In New Hamp­shire, Re­pub­lic­ans Judd Gregg and Bob Smith also ended 2002 with nearly identic­al vote rat­ings. But their re­la­tion­ship was not so close. Smith lost his bid for the GOP Sen­ate nom­in­a­tion to then-Rep. John E. Sununu, who won the seat in Novem­ber. Gregg angered Smith by re­main­ing neut­ral in the primary.

Also in New Eng­land, Mas­sachu­setts Demo­crats John F. Kerry and Ed­ward Kennedy, the 800-pound gor­illa of Demo­crat­ic polit­ics, have had a com­plex re­la­tion­ship. As Kerry began his bid for the Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion, he sought to sep­ar­ate him­self from his home-state col­league on some is­sues, even though their 2002 vote rat­ings were nearly the same. Still, Kerry was de­lighted re­cently when Kennedy en­dorsed his can­did­acy, fol­low­ing months of doubt on both sides.

The Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors from New York, Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton and Charles E. Schu­mer, and the Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchis­on and the now-re­tired Phil Gramm, have also dealt war­ily with each oth­er, des­pite sim­il­ar vot­ing re­cords.

This year’s rat­ings also show sev­er­al home-state sen­at­ors of dif­fer­ent parties whose vote rat­ings are at op­pos­ite ends of the ideo­lo­gic­al spec­trum-yet both con­tin­ue to en­joy loc­al pop­ular­ity. Iowa voters have elec­ted Demo­crat Tom Har­kin and Re­pub­lic­an Charles E. Grass­ley, and New Mex­ico voters have elec­ted Demo­crat Jeff Binga­man and Re­pub­lic­an Pete V. Domen­ici at least four times each, with the know­ledge that their le­gis­lat­ive votes of­ten can­cel each oth­er out. But in those polit­ic­al swing states, the sen­at­ors can en­sure that loc­al in­terests are pro­tec­ted, re­gard­less of which party is in con­trol.

Staff cor­res­pond­ents Dav­id Bau­mann and Kirk Vic­tor con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Richard E. Co­hen Na­tion­al Journ­al

What We're Following See More »
MANAFORT STEERED HIM WORK IN UKRAINE
Prosecutors Weighing Whether to Charge Greg Craig
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

A long-running federal investigation into former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig "is reaching a critical stage, presenting the Justice Department with a decision about whether to charge a prominent Democrat as part of a more aggressive crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying." Federal prosecutors in New York have transferred the case to Washington. ... The investigation centers on whether Mr. Craig should have disclosed work he did in 2012 — while he was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — on behalf of the Russia-aligned government of Viktor F. Yanukovych, then the president of Ukraine. The work was steered to Mr. Craig by Paul Manafort."

Source:
AUTHORIZED TO UNLOCK PHONES
Feds Raided Broidy's Offices Last Year
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Federal authorities raided the office of Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and Trump administration associates, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica. Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans."

Source:
REPUBLICANS SAID VOTE WAS A WASTE OF TIME
House Approves Resolution to Release Mueller Report, 420-0
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the Justice Department to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings and full report public and available to Congress. The 420-0 vote came after a fiery debate on the House floor, during which some Democratic lawmakers were admonished for their criticisms of President Donald Trump. Republicans said the resolution was unnecessary and a waste of time, but ultimately joined Democrats to approve it. Four Republicans — Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky — voted 'present.'"

Source:
SAME JUDGE THAT JUST SENTENCED MANAFORT
Stone Trial Set for Nov. 5
4 days ago
WHY WE CARE
IS MUELLER'S TOP PROSECUTOR
Andrew Weissmann Stepping Down
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"One of the most prominent members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election will soon leave the office and the Justice Department, two sources close to the matter tell NPR. Andrew Weissmann, the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, will study and teach at New York University and work on a variety of public service projects, including his longstanding interest in preventing wrongful convictions by shoring up forensic science standards used in courts, the sources added. The departure is the strongest sign yet that Mueller and his team have all but concluded their work."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login