2003 VOTE RATINGS - How They Measured Up

Feb. 28, 2004, 7 a.m.

Mav­er­ick Con­ser­vat­ives When Pres­id­ent Bush praised last year’s Medi­care re­form le­gis­la­tion as “the greatest ad­vance in health care cov­er­age for Amer­ica’s seni­ors” since the pro­gram was cre­ated in 1965, most con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans agreed, at least pub­licly. House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Tom DeLay, R-Texas, an icon for many con­ser­vat­ives, de­clared that the new law “provides more choice and great­er qual­ity care at a lower cost.”

But to a small though stead­fast group of con­ser­vat­ive Re­pub­lic­an law­makers, the bill was an ab­om­in­a­tion. They were ap­palled that their party would rally around the cre­ation of such a costly and com­plic­ated new gov­ern­ment en­ti­tle­ment — es­pe­cially one that failed to in­fuse suf­fi­cient private-sec­tor com­pet­i­tion in­to the tra­di­tion­al Medi­care pro­gram.

“We gave up too much to get too little,” re­coun­ted con­ser­vat­ive Rep. Jim De­Mint, R-S.C., who was among the 25 House Re­pub­lic­ans and nine GOP sen­at­ors who voted against the con­fer­ence re­port on the Medi­care bill in Novem­ber. De­Mint, who is run­ning this year for an open Sen­ate seat, blames the more mod­er­ate Sen­ate for for­cing the House to ac­cept a fi­nal ver­sion of the le­gis­la­tion that bore “too great a price.”

But the out­come left De­Mint and the oth­er lim­ited-gov­ern­ment Re­pub­lic­an stal­warts in a curi­ous po­s­i­tion: They were aligned with most Demo­crats in vot­ing no on the Medi­care bill. And that vote wasn’t the only in­stance last year in which a small group of GOP con­ser­vat­ives bucked their party’s agenda and joined hands with the Demo­crat­ic minor­ity. On nu­mer­ous key votes — in­clud­ing on the fisc­al 2004 sup­ple­ment­al spend­ing bill for mil­it­ary and re­con­struc­tion aid to Ir­aq, on le­gis­la­tion com­bat­ing il­leg­al drugs from South Amer­ica, and on the fisc­al 2004 om­ni­bus ap­pro­pri­ations bill — a stub­born band of Re­pub­lic­ans con­cluded that party loy­alty was too big a pill to swal­low.

So, who — or what — defined the real con­gres­sion­al con­ser­vat­ives last year? Were they the Re­pub­lic­an true-be­liev­ers who stuck to their prin­ciples and stood against the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of their own party? Or were they the GOP lead­ers who made the com­prom­ises that were ne­ces­sary, and in­ev­it­able, to gov­ern suc­cess­fully?

Like the pro­ver­bi­al ques­tion of wheth­er a pa­rish­ion­er can be “more Cath­ol­ic than the Pope,” the stand­ard may be il­lus­ory. But Na­tion­al Journ­al’s con­gres­sion­al vote rat­ings for 2003 of­fer one meas­ure of what hap­pens when rank-and-file Re­pub­lic­an law­makers seek to be more ideo­lo­gic­ally pure than their pres­id­ent or their GOP con­gres­sion­al lead­ers. The vote rat­ings place De­Mint and oth­er like-minded Re­pub­lic­ans in the un­fa­mil­i­ar — and, to some, un­com­fort­able — po­s­i­tion of sac­ri­fi­cing some of their con­ser­vat­ive cre­den­tials.

Al­though the same stat­ist­ic­al mod­el has been used to cal­cu­late the an­nu­al vote rat­ings since 1981, last year’s un­usu­al le­gis­lat­ive dy­nam­ics pro­duced sig­ni­fic­ant up­heav­al among some mem­bers who had been per­en­ni­ally rated among the most con­ser­vat­ive on Cap­it­ol Hill. Take the 15 House Re­pub­lic­ans who voted against the fi­nal ver­sions of both the Medi­care and the om­ni­bus spend­ing bills. By and large, they have long been staunch con­ser­vat­ives, but in 2003, their com­pos­ite con­ser­vat­ive scores in the rat­ings dropped — some by as much 15 points — be­cause they sided with Demo­crats on some ma­jor votes. The up­shot was that the 2003 scores of these con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers ac­tu­ally placed them among their party’s mod­er­ate wing. (See chart be­low.)

This group of 15 mav­er­ick House con­ser­vat­ives in­cludes De­Mint. In an in­ter­view, he said that in past years, such as when he was among the top six House con­ser­vat­ives in the 1999 and the 2001 vote rat­ings, he was “proud” to cite his scores to con­stitu­ents. By con­trast, when De­Mint was in­formed that his 2003 scores placed him near the cen­ter of House Re­pub­lic­ans, he re­spon­ded that Na­tion­al Journ­al should re­vise its rat­ings sys­tem.

Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, was an­oth­er mav­er­ick con­ser­vat­ive. He was among the half-dozen most-con­ser­vat­ive House mem­bers in 1999, but his con­ser­vat­ive scores have de­clined no­tice­ably since then. When in­formed of the change, Chabot chuckled and called the res­ults “iron­ic.” He ex­plained that he voted against the Medi­care and om­ni­bus spend­ing bills be­cause, “as a con­ser­vat­ive, I be­lieve that we should re­duce spend­ing.” Chabot said he listened to pleas from his fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans for party loy­alty but then “voted my con­science.”

Chabot’s apostasy on six of the 73 House votes that Na­tion­al Journ­al used in the 2003 vote rat­ings left him with a com­pos­ite con­ser­vat­ive score of 68.2 per­cent. That con­trasts starkly with his 93.3 per­cent com­pos­ite con­ser­vat­ive score in 1999, when he had nearly per­fect con­ser­vat­ive scores.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is also among the 15 House Re­pub­lic­ans who voted against the Medi­care and om­ni­bus bills. He is a self-styled liber­tari­an (he was the Liber­tari­an can­did­ate for pres­id­ent in 1988) who in re­cent years has be­come a lead­er of Re­pub­lic­ans will­ing to chal­lenge what they see as their party’s ex­cess­ive spend­ing and reg­u­la­tion.

Paul has as­sembled an in­form­al group, known as the Liberty Com­mit­tee, that counts 23 House Re­pub­lic­an mem­bers who meet reg­u­larly and are ded­ic­ated to Paul’s goals of “free mar­kets, private prop­erty, and lim­ited, con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment in our na­tion’s cap­it­al.” (The group in­cludes 10 of the 15 Re­pub­lic­ans in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing chart of mav­er­ick con­ser­vat­ives.) In­formed about his 2003 vote rat­ings, which give him a com­pos­ite con­ser­vat­ive score of 40, Paul re­spon­ded, “My po­s­i­tion in the House has be­come stronger as more of the pub­lic sees what’s wrong with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.”

The sole House mem­ber with a per­fect con­ser­vat­ive score in 2003 was House Speak­er Den­nis Hastert, R-Ill., who has prided him­self on loy­alty to Bush. (One sur­pris­ing as­pect of Hastert’s rat­ing is that he re­ceived any score at all. His­tor­ic­ally, speak­ers have not voted of­ten enough for Na­tion­al Journ­al to rate them.) DeLay was tied with four oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans for second place among the most-con­ser­vat­ive House mem­bers.

A sim­il­ar pat­tern res­ul­ted in the Sen­ate, where some GOP reneg­ades also broke with their party on key votes. The 13 sen­at­ors, all Re­pub­lic­ans, who tied for the highest con­ser­vat­ive score in­cluded Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Bill Frist of Ten­ness­ee, Ma­jor­ity Whip Mitch Mc­Con­nell of Ken­tucky, and Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence Chair­man Rick San­tor­um of Pennsylvania. By con­trast, fresh­man Sens. Lind­sey Gra­ham, R-S.C., and John Sununu, R-N.H. — both of whom are known as con­ser­vat­ives who ex­hib­it oc­ca­sion­al in­de­pend­ent streaks — found them­selves ranked near the cen­ter of the Sen­ate in 2003, along­side mav­er­ick Sen. John Mc­Cain, R-Ar­iz. Gra­ham, Sununu, and Mc­Cain all op­posed the Medi­care bill con­fer­ence re­port.

The res­ults mark the first time in the 23-year his­tory of the vote rat­ings that party loy­alty, in ef­fect, trumped the in­ten­ded meas­ure of ideo­lo­gic­al com­mit­ment for some law­makers — the small band of mav­er­ick con­ser­vat­ives. “Those votes are an­om­al­ous for a small group of mem­bers, but the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of mem­bers voted in a con­ser­vat­ive way,” said Wil­li­am Schneider, the vet­er­an polit­ic­al com­ment­at­or for CNN who writes a weekly column for Na­tion­al Journ­al. The mem­bers of that small group “are mak­ing a con­ser­vat­ive state­ment by vot­ing with the lib­er­als when a Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­ent is cre­at­ing a new en­ti­tle­ment.”

Schneider, a former polit­ic­al sci­ence pro­fess­or at Har­vard Uni­versity, cre­ated Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings with the late Alan Bar­on, a Demo­crat­ic act­iv­ist and au­thor of a Wash­ing­ton-based polit­ic­al news­let­ter.

The rat­ings rank mem­bers of Con­gress on how they vote re­l­at­ive to each oth­er on a con­ser­vat­ive-to-lib­er­al scale in each cham­ber. The scores are based on law­makers’ votes in three areas: eco­nom­ic is­sues, so­cial is­sues, 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 — 62 votes in the Sen­ate and 73 votes in the House — se­lec­ted by Na­tion­al Journ­al re­port­ers and ed­it­ors.

For ex­ample, the res­ults show that on eco­nom­ic policy is­sues, Chabot had a con­ser­vat­ive score of 71 and a lib­er­al score of 27. That means that he was more con­ser­vat­ive than 71 per­cent of oth­er House mem­bers on those is­sues and more lib­er­al than 27 per­cent; he tied the re­main­ing 2 per­cent. The scores do not mean that he voted with con­ser­vat­ives 71 per­cent of the time, nor that he was 71 per­cent “cor­rect” from a con­ser­vat­ive per­spect­ive. (For more de­tails on how the vote rat­ings are cal­cu­lated, see box, next page.)

As the rat­ings are tab­u­lated, the votes in each is­sue area are sub­jec­ted to a prin­cip­al-com­pon­ents ana­lys­is, a stat­ist­ic­al pro­ced­ure de­signed to de­term­ine the de­gree to which each vote re­sembled oth­er votes in the same cat­egory (the same mem­bers tend­ing to vote to­geth­er). The com­puter ana­lys­is as­signed a weight — from 1 (low­est) to 3 (highest) — to each roll-call vote, based on the de­gree to which it cor­rel­ated with oth­er votes in the same is­sue area. A high­er weight means that a vote was more strongly cor­rel­ated with oth­er votes and was there­fore a bet­ter test of eco­nom­ic, so­cial, or for­eign-policy ideo­logy.

In the 2003 rat­ings for eco­nom­ic is­sues in the House, Na­tion­al Journ­al used two votes from the Medi­care de­bate: when the cham­ber first passed its ver­sion on June 27, and when it ap­proved the con­fer­ence re­port on Novem­ber 22. The com­puter tab­u­la­tions weighted each of those votes as “3,” mean­ing that they closely fit the over­all res­ults, even with the seem­ingly an­om­al­ous votes of the small group of con­ser­vat­ive Re­pub­lic­ans.

Crit­ics might sug­gest that Na­tion­al Journ­al should have dropped the Medi­care votes from the 2003 rat­ings. (Each year, sev­er­al votes are dropped from the ana­lys­is be­cause they are stat­ist­ic­ally un­re­lated to oth­ers in the same is­sue area. Typ­ic­ally, these are votes that re­flec­ted re­gion­al and spe­cial-in­terest con­cerns, rather than gen­er­al ideo­logy.) But in this case, the two Medi­care votes met the stand­ard to the highest de­gree pos­sible, giv­ing them their weight­ing of “3.”

In the big­ger pic­ture, the re­bel­lion of a small band of con­gres­sion­al con­ser­vat­ives is an im­port­ant polit­ic­al de­vel­op­ment that bears watch­ing. The con­ser­vat­ives are put­ting in­tense pres­sure on their party lead­ers to demon­strate fisc­al con­ser­vat­ism dur­ing this elec­tion year, in light of mount­ing con­cerns over the bal­loon­ing fed­er­al budget de­fi­cit. Bush has pro­posed a fisc­al 2005 budget that would al­low just a 0.5 per­cent boost in spend­ing, ex­cept for de­fense and home­land se­cur­ity. While that spend­ing in­crease would be tiny com­pared with re­cent years, the House Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, an 85-mem­ber-strong group of con­ser­vat­ives, wants to tight­en the belt even fur­ther.

“While [the pres­id­ent] showed re­straint in sev­er­al areas, the total spend­ing is still too high,” Rep. Sue Myr­ick, R-N.C., the group’s chair­wo­man, said when Bush re­leased his budget in early Feb­ru­ary. “My RSC col­leagues and I will con­tin­ue to work with the pres­id­ent to re­duce spend­ing…. Con­gress has got to get in the mind-set of spend­ing less.”

Wheth­er rank-and-file GOP con­ser­vat­ives will be sat­is­fied with the de­cisions that the Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship makes this year on spend­ing and oth­er key is­sues — and wheth­er some con­ser­vat­ives will be bold enough to re­volt if they’re not sat­is­fied — is a ma­jor ques­tion per­meat­ing this le­gis­lat­ive ses­sion. House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers re­main mind­ful that in 1997, a group of ju­ni­or con­ser­vat­ives in­stig­ated the un­suc­cess­ful coup at­tempt against Speak­er Newt Gin­grich, R-Ga., that rocked the party and led to Gin­grich’s down­fall a year later.

A House Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship aide said the un­usu­al res­ults in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings are a re­mind­er that the bit­terly fought Medi­care battle “left a lot of blood” with­in the GOP. The lead­er­ship aide ap­peared to sym­path­ize with the con­ser­vat­ives’ com­plaints about the cost of the Medi­care bill, call­ing it “a prom­ise that we made dur­ing the era of budget sur­plus, and that we had gone too far down the road not to de­liv­er.” But the aide con­ten­ded that any hard feel­ings among House Re­pub­lic­ans have mostly healed dur­ing in­tern­al dis­cus­sions in re­cent weeks.

Party mav­er­icks — and po­ten­tial mav­er­icks — are well aware that chal­len­ging the lead­er­ship is not ex­actly a use­ful tool for ad­vance­ment in the House. GOP lead­ers tend to have long memor­ies and to scorn mem­bers they view as un­will­ing to share the re­spons­ib­il­it­ies of gov­ern­ing.

Of the 15 House Re­pub­lic­ans who voted against both the Medi­care and the om­ni­bus spend­ing bill, only Rep. John Shade­gg of Ari­zona serves on one of the House’s “ex­clus­ive” com­mit­tees — Ap­pro­pri­ations, En­ergy and Com­merce, Rules, and Ways and Means. No oth­ers are likely to win such a plum as­sign­ment any­time soon. Like De­Mint, Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is leav­ing the House to seek a Sen­ate seat; he is chal­len­ging vet­er­an Sen. Ar­len Specter, R-Pa., in an April primary. Still, con­gres­sion­al lead­ers can be highly cre­at­ive in com­ing up with ways to keep their mem­bers in line.

Kerry and Ed­wards On the night of Feb­ru­ary 17, after fin­ish­ing a sur­pris­ingly close second to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the Wis­con­sin primary, Sen. John Ed­wards, D-N.C., made the rounds of tele­vi­sion in­ter­views and re­peated what has be­come a fa­mil­i­ar theme. Asked on CNN about his cam­paign strategy, Ed­wards replied that he planned to em­phas­ize the con­trasts between him and the front-run­ner for the Demo­crat­ic pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion.

“I think it’s im­port­ant for people to know the dif­fer­ences between us,” Ed­wards said. “I like and re­spect John Kerry very much. And I think he feels the same way about me. But we have dif­fer­ences.” Ed­wards ad­ded a few mo­ments later: “There are clear dif­fer­ences between us. Now those dif­fer­ences will be­come more ap­par­ent to Demo­crat­ic voters.”

Judging by Na­tion­al Journ­al’s con­gres­sion­al vote rat­ings, however, Kerry and Ed­wards aren’t all that dif­fer­ent, at least not when it comes to how they voted on key is­sues be­fore the Sen­ate last year. The res­ults of the vote rat­ings show that Kerry was the most lib­er­al sen­at­or in 2003, with a com­pos­ite lib­er­al score of 96.5. But Ed­wards wasn’t far be­hind: He had a 2003 com­pos­ite lib­er­al score of 94.5, mak­ing him the fourth-most-lib­er­al sen­at­or.

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 areas: eco­nom­ic policy, so­cial policy, 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 — 62 in the Sen­ate in 2003 — se­lec­ted by Na­tion­al Journ­al re­port­ers and ed­it­ors. (For more de­tails on how the vote rat­ings are cal­cu­lated, see box be­low.)

The fact that Kerry and Ed­wards had such sim­il­ar scores in 2003 is strik­ing, be­cause dur­ing the course of their Sen­ate ca­reers, their rat­ings have of­ten placed them in dif­fer­ent wings of their party.

Kerry has com­piled a gen­er­ally more lib­er­al vot­ing re­cord. After win­ning elec­tion to the Sen­ate in 1984, he ranked among the most-lib­er­al sen­at­ors dur­ing three years of his first term, ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings. In those years — 1986, 1988, and 1990 — Kerry did not vote with Sen­ate con­ser­vat­ives a single time out of the total of 138 votes used to pre­pare those rat­ings. (See chart on Kerry’s life­time vote rat­ings, be­low.)

Ed­wards, on the oth­er hand, had a mod­er­ate vot­ing re­cord dur­ing the first four years fol­low­ing his elec­tion to the Sen­ate in 1998. The res­ults po­si­tioned Ed­wards com­fort­ably apart from Sen­ate lib­er­als, but not so far to the right that he locked arms with cent­rist Re­pub­lic­ans. His con­sist­ent mod­er­a­tion placed Ed­wards among the cen­ter-right of Sen­ate Demo­crats. But once Ed­wards de­cided to run for pres­id­ent and aban­doned his bid for a second Sen­ate term, his re­cord moved dra­mat­ic­ally to the left in 2003. (See chart on Ed­wards’s life­time vote rat­ings, next page.)

Last year, Kerry, Ed­wards, and oth­er con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats who were seek­ing the pres­id­ency, in­clud­ing Sen. Joe Lieber­man of Con­necti­c­ut and Rep. Dick Geph­ardt of Mis­souri, missed many votes. To qual­i­fy for a score in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings, mem­bers must par­ti­cip­ate in at least half of the votes in an is­sue cat­egory. Of the 62 Sen­ate votes used to com­pute the 2003 rat­ings, Kerry was ab­sent for 37 votes and Ed­wards missed 22.

As a res­ult, in the 2003 vote rat­ings, Kerry re­ceived a rat­ing only in the eco­nom­ic policy cat­egory, earn­ing a per­fect lib­er­al score. Ed­wards re­ceived rat­ings in the cat­egor­ies of eco­nom­ic and so­cial is­sues, also put­ting up per­fect lib­er­al scores.

A sep­ar­ate ana­lys­is showed that of the votes that Kerry cast in the two cat­egor­ies in which he did not re­ceive scores in 2003 — so­cial policy and for­eign policy — he con­sist­ently took the lib­er­al view with­in the Sen­ate. Ed­wards did not re­ceive a score in the for­eign-policy cat­egory; he sided with the lib­er­als on five votes in that area, and with the con­ser­vat­ives on one vote. On for­eign policy, Kerry and Ed­wards — both of whom sup­por­ted the 2002 res­ol­u­tion au­thor­iz­ing the use of mil­it­ary force against Ir­aq — last year joined most Sen­ate Demo­crats in vot­ing that half of the U.S. re­con­struc­tion aid to Ir­aq be provided as loans, a pro­vi­sion that ul­ti­mately was dropped.

To be sure, Kerry’s rank­ing as the No. 1 Sen­ate lib­er­al in 2003 — and his earn­ing of sim­il­ar hon­ors three times dur­ing his first term, from 1985 to 1990 — will prob­ably have op­pos­i­tion re­search­ers lick­ing their chops. As shown in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing chart, Kerry had a per­fect lib­er­al rat­ing on so­cial is­sues dur­ing 10 of the 18 years in which he re­ceived a score, mean­ing that he did not side with con­ser­vat­ives on a single vote in those years. That in­cluded his 1996 vote, with 13 oth­er Sen­ate Demo­crats, against the De­fense of Mar­riage Act, which pro­hib­ited fed­er­al re­cog­ni­tion of states’ same-sex mar­riage laws. Along the cam­paign trail, Re­pub­lic­ans likely will re­mind voters of Kerry’s stance on that is­sue.

But in­ter­est­ingly, dur­ing Kerry’s second term, from 1991 to 1996, he dropped back in­to the pack of Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors and voted more mod­er­ately. In those years, he earned com­pos­ite lib­er­al scores in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s vote rat­ings ran­ging from 78.2 to 85.8.

Kerry was es­pe­cially mod­er­ate in his second term when it came to for­eign-policy is­sues. He op­posed the lib­er­al po­s­i­tion in key Sen­ate show­downs on mis­sile-de­fense and in­tel­li­gence spend­ing in 1993, and on pro­cure­ment of ad­di­tion­al F-18 Navy fight­ers in 1996. Such votes could provide Kerry with some use­ful talk­ing points for his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign. Kerry also voted with Pres­id­ent Clin­ton and con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans, but against many lib­er­als, in fa­vor of wel­fare re­form in 1996, and he oc­ca­sion­ally split from or­gan­ized labor on work­place is­sues.

Mean­while, Ed­wards, the son of a tex­tile work­er, has fre­quently poin­ted to trade is­sues as one of the key “dif­fer­ences” between him and his op­pon­ent. He has cri­ti­cized Kerry’s sup­port for the North Amer­ic­an Free Trade Agree­ment in 1993 and for oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al trade deals dur­ing the Clin­ton pres­id­ency. (While Ed­wards did not serve in the Sen­ate dur­ing much of that time, news re­ports con­firm that he op­posed NAF­TA dur­ing his 1998 cam­paign, al­though it was not a ma­jor cam­paign is­sue.)

In fact, both sen­at­ors have spotty re­cords on trade is­sues. This helps to ex­plain why or­gan­ized labor backed oth­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates in the early pres­id­en­tial caucuses and primar­ies.

Ed­wards voted with Kerry in 2000 to es­tab­lish trade re­la­tions with China, and in 2002 to ex­tend pres­id­en­tial trade-ne­go­ti­at­ing au­thor­ity. Also in 2000, Ed­wards split from Kerry by op­pos­ing le­gis­la­tion to drop U.S. trade bar­ri­ers with Africa and the Carib­bean. (That vote was ex­cluded from Na­tion­al Journ­al’s Sen­ate vote rat­ings be­cause it did not cor­rel­ate stat­ist­ic­ally.) In Ju­ly 2003, Ed­wards op­posed free-trade agree­ments with Chile and Singa­pore, each of which passed the Sen­ate hand­ily, des­pite mostly Demo­crat­ic op­pos­i­tion. Kerry missed both votes.

Al­man­ac of Amer­ic­an Polit­ics re­search dir­ect­or Eliza­beth Lev­in as­sisted in pre­par­ing the 2003 vote rat­ings.

John Kerry The fol­low­ing chart shows the scores of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s an­nu­al vote rat­ings since he joined the Sen­ate in 1985.

Kerry was more lib­er­al than — per­cent of Sen­ate on these is­sues: Eco­nom­ic So­cial For­eign 1985 86 88 88 1986 94 92 75 1987 65 96 74 1988 86 86 86 1989 94 63 75 1990 92 81 83 1991 80 87 78 1992 84 84 65 1993 83 87 67 1994 72 85 72 1995 77 74 79 1996 74 92 77 1997 79 71 87 1998 83 74 86 1999 80 81 78 2000 84 66 70 2001 93 81 74 2002 95 82 73 2003 93 * * Life­time Av­er­age 83.9 81.7 77.1

Kerry was more con­ser­vat­ive than — per­cent of Sen­ate on these is­sues: Eco­nom­ic So­cial For­eign 1985 11 0 0 1986 0 0 0 1987 26 0 19 1988 0 0 0 1989 3 31 21 1990 0 0 0 1991 16 0 14 1992 12 11 26 1993 0 8 30 1994 18 7 22 1995 21 25 15 1996 19 0 17 1997 18 0 8 1998 10 0 12 1999 17 12 13 2000 11 21 28 2001 0 8 14 2002 0 0 26 2003 0 * * Life­time Av­er­age 9.6 6.8 14.7

Com­pos­ite Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Con­ser­vat­ive Score Score 1985 91.8 95.2 1986 93.5 93.5 1987 81.7 91.8 1988 93.0 93.0 1989 79.5 93.5 1990 92.7 92.7 1991 85.8 95.0 1992 80.7 95.0 1993 83.2 94.5 1994 80.3 95.2 1995 78.2 96.8 1996 84.5 93.5 1997 85.2 93.2 1998 86.8 93.2 1999 82.8 94.2 2000 76.7 93.5 2001 87.7 97.7 2002 87.3 95.5 2003 96.5 96.5 Life­time Av­er­age 85.7

* In­dic­ates that the sen­at­or missed more than half the votes in this is­sue cat­egory and there­fore did not re­ceive a score. John Ed­wards The fol­low­ing chart shows the scores of Sen. John Ed­wards, D-N.C., in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s an­nu­al vote rat­ings since he joined the Sen­ate in 1999.

Ed­wards was more lib­er­al than — per­cent of Sen­ate on these is­sues: Eco­nom­ic So­cial For­eign 1999 58 81 71 2000 90 66 72 2001 74 60 61 2002 66 56 62 2003 93 85 * Life­time Av­er­age 76.2 69.6 66.5

Ed­wards was more con­ser­vat­ive than — per­cent of Sen­ate on these is­sues: Eco­nom­ic So­cial For­eign 1999 41 12 24 2000 7 21 15 2001 23 36 27 2002 32 38 36 2003 0 0 * Life­time Av­er­age 20.6 21.4 25.5

Com­pos­ite Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Con­ser­vat­ive Score Score 1999 72.2 94.2 2000 80.8 93.5 2001 68.2 97.7 2002 63.0 95.5 2003 94.5 96.5 Life­time 75.7 Av­er­age * In­dic­ates that the sen­at­or missed more than half the votes in this is­sue cat­egory and there­fore did not re­ceive a score. The Lead­ers The con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers, by and large, are ideo­lo­gic­al pur­ists who rank among the most-con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers of their re­spect­ive cham­bers, ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings. The con­gres­sion­al Demo­crat­ic lead­ers, by con­trast, gen­er­ally fall more to­ward the cen­ter of their party.

Re­pub­lic­an Lead­ers Com­pos­ite Con­ser­vat­ive Score 2002 2003 Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Bill Frist, R-Tenn. 87.0 86.5* Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Whip Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky. 88.7 86.5* Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence Chair­man 80.2 86.5* Rick San­tor­um, R-Pa. House Speak­er Den­nis Hastert, R-Ill. no scores 95.8** House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Tom DeLay, R-Texas 88.2 93.7 House Ma­jor­ity Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo. 91.8 90.3 House Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence Chair­wo­man 66.8 68.5 De­borah Pryce, R-Ohio

Demo­crat­ic Lead­ers Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Score 2002 2003 Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Tom Daschle, D-S.D. 69.0 79.8 Sen­ate Minor­ity Whip Harry Re­id, D-Nev. 75.5 77.5 House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal­if 89.3 85.7 House Minor­ity Whip Steny Hoy­er, D-Md. 75.0 69.2 House Demo­crat­ic Caucus Chair­man 73.0 71.8 Robert Men­en­dez, D-N.J.

* Frist, Mc­Con­nell, and San­tor­um were among the sen­at­ors tied as the most con­ser­vat­ive in 2003. ** Hastert was the most con­ser­vat­ive House mem­ber in 2003. Al­though the House speak­er tra­di­tion­ally does not usu­ally vote, Hastert voted fre­quently enough in 2003 to re­ceive scores.

The Fringes These are the most-con­ser­vat­ive and most-lib­er­al mem­bers of each cham­ber, based on com­pos­ite scores in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings.

SEN­ATE Most Con­ser­vat­ive Com­pos­ite Con­ser­vat­ive Score George Al­len, R-Va. 86.5 Jim Bun­ning, R-Ky. 86.5 Con­rad Burns, R-Mont. 86.5 Thad Co­chran, R-Miss. 86.5 John Cornyn, R-Texas 86.5 Bill Frist, R-Tenn. 86.5 Charles Grass­ley, R-Iowa 86.5 Or­rin Hatch, R-Utah 86.5 Richard Lugar, R-Ind. 86.5 Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky. 86.5 Rick San­tor­um, R-Pa. 86.5 Jeff Ses­sions, R-Ala. 86.5 Craig Thomas, R-Wyo. 86.5 Lamar Al­ex­an­der, R-Tenn. 82.7 Don Nickles, R-Okla. 82.7

Most Lib­er­al Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Score John Kerry, D-Mass. 96.5 Jack Reed, D-R.I. 94.7 Paul Sar­banes, D-Md. 94.7 John Ed­wards, D-N.C. 94.5 Bar­bara Box­er, D-Cal­if. 91.2 Rus­sell Fein­gold, D-Wis. 89.5 Tom Har­kin, D-Iowa 89.3 Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, 88.8 D-N.Y. Frank Lauten­berg, D-N.J. 88.8 Carl Lev­in, D-Mich. 88.8 Mark Dayton, D-Minn. 88.3 Ed­ward Kennedy, D-Mass. 88.3 Richard Durbin, D-Ill. 87.0 Bar­bara Mikul­ski, D-Md. 86.0 Jon Corz­ine, D-N.J. 84.2

HOUSE Most Con­ser­vat­ive Com­pos­ite Con­ser­vat­ive Score Den­nis Hastert, R-Ill. 95.8 Spen­cer Bachus, R-Ala. 93.7 Tom DeLay, R-Texas 93.7 John Linder, R-Ga. 93.7 Ed Schrock, R-Va. 93.7 Todd Ti­ahrt, R-Kan. 93.7 Mar­sha Black­burn, R-Tenn. 93.2 Phil Gin­grey, R-Ga. 93.2 Sam John­son, R-Texas 93.2 Chris Can­non, R-Utah 92.5 Mac Thorn­berry, R-Texas 92.5 Ric Keller, R-Fla. 91.8 Rob Bish­op, R-Utah 91.2 Chris Chocola, R-Ind. 91.0 Henry Hyde, R-Ill. 91.0 Mark Kennedy, R-Minn. 91.0 Pete Ses­sions, R-Texas 91.0 Lamar Smith, R-Texas 91.0 Roy Blunt, R-Mo. 90.3 Eric Can­tor, R-Va. 90.3 Gary Miller, R-Cal­if. 90.3 Sue Myr­ick, R-N.C. 90.3 John Carter, R-Texas 89.7 Nath­an Deal, R-Ga. 89.0 John Sul­li­van, R-Okla. 89.0

Most Lib­er­al Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Score Bob Fil­ner, D-Cal­if. 96.3 John Lewis, D-Ga. 96.3 George Miller, D-Cal­if. 96.3 Jer­rold Nadler, D-N.Y. 96.3 John Olver, D-Mass. 96.3 Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. 96.3 Hilda Sol­is, D-Cal­if. 96.3 Max­ine Wa­ters, D-Cal­if. 96.3 Barney Frank, D-Mass. 94.7 Ed­ward Mar­key, D-Mass. 94.7 Linda Sanc­hez, D-Cal­if. 94.2 Melvin Watt, D-N.C. 94.2 Jesse Jack­son Jr., D-Ill. 94.0 Bill De­lahunt, D-Mass. 93.8 Mike Honda, D-Cal­if. 93.5 Lu­cille Roy­bal-Al­lard, 93.5 D-Cal­if. Raul Gri­jalva, D-Ar­iz. 92.8 Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. 92.8 Don­ald Payne, D-N.J. 92.7 Bobby Scott, D-Va. 92.7 Lynn Wool­sey, D-Cal­if. 92.5 John Con­yers, D-Mich. 92.3 Henry Wax­man, D-Cal­if. 92.3 Sam Farr, D-Cal­if. 92.2 The Cent­rists These are the mem­bers of the ideo­lo­gic­al cen­ter of the Sen­ate and the House, based on com­pos­ite scores in na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings.

SEN­ATE CENT­RISTS Com­pos­ite Score Lib­er­al/Con­ser­vat­ive Richard Shelby, R-Ala. 32.7/67.3 Ted Stevens, R-Alaska 33.7/66.3 Lind­sey Gra­ham, R-S.C. 34.3/65.7 Peter Fitzger­ald, R-Ill. 35.2/64.8 Kay Bailey Hutchis­on, R-TX 35.3/64.7 John Mc­Cain, R-Ar­iz. 37.8/62.2 Gor­don Smith, R-Ore. 39.3/60.7 John Sununu, R-N.H. 40.0/60.0 Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska 44.5/55.5 Ben Nighthorse Camp­bell, 46.8/53.2 R-Colo. Ar­len Specter, R-Pa. 49.7/50.3 (The cen­ter of the Sen­ate) Ben Nel­son, D-Neb. 50.5/49.5 Olympia Snowe, R-Maine 50.5/49.5 Susan Collins, R-Maine 50.8/49.2 Lin­coln Chafee, R-R.I. 53.3/46.7 John Br­eaux, D-La. 55.2/44.8 Evan Bayh, D-Ind. 58.5/41.5 Blanche Lin­coln, D-Ark. 58.7/41.3 Thomas Carp­er, D-Del. 58.8/41.2 Mark Pry­or, D-Ark. 60.2/39.8 Kent Con­rad, D-N.D. 60.5/39.5

HOUSE CENT­RISTS Com­pos­ite Score Lib­er­al/Con­ser­vat­ive Shel­ley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.43.5/56.5 Tom Petri, R-Wis. 44.0/56.0 Fred Up­ton, R-Mich. 44.0/56.0 Jim Green­wood, R-Pa. 44.2/55.8 John Hostet­tler, R-Ind. 44.2/55.8 Jeff Flake, R-Ar­iz. 44.5/55.5 Charles Bass, R-N.H. 44.8/55.2 Chris Smith, R-N.J. 44.8/55.2 Ver­non Ehlers, R-Mich. 45.2/54.8 Steven La­Tour­ette, R-Ohio 45.3/54.7 Jerry Mor­an, R-Kan. 45.3/54.7 Jack Quinn, R-N.Y. 45.7/54.3 Doug Ose, R-Cal­if. 45.8/54.2 Douglas Bereu­ter, R-Neb. 46.3/53.7 John McHugh, R-N.Y. 46.5/53.5 Ral­ph Hall, D-Texas* 46.8/53.2 Sue Kelly, R-N.Y. 47.2/52.8 Frank Lo­Bi­ondo, R-N.J. 47.7/52.3 Wayne Gil­chrest, R-Md. 48.2/51.8 Jim Ram­stad, R-Minn. 49.5/50.5 Mark Kirk, R-Ill. 49.7/50.3 (The cen­ter of the House) Ken Lu­cas, D-Ky. 50.5/49.5 Tim John­son, R-Ill. 50.8/49.2 Amo Houghton, R-N.Y. 51.0/49.0 Nancy John­son, R-Conn. 51.2/48.8 Sher­wood Boehlert, R-N.Y. 51.5/48.5 Gene Taylor, D-Miss. 52.3/47.7 Bud Cramer, D-Ala. 52.5/47.5 Chris John, D-La. 52.5/47.5 Rob Sim­mons, R-Conn. 52.5/47.5 Mi­chael Castle, R-Del. 53.0/47.0 Col­lin Peterson, D-Minn. 53.2/46.8 Charles Sten­holm, D-Texas 53.2/46.8 Ike Skelton, D-Mo. 53.5/46.5 Rod­ney Al­ex­an­der, D-La. 53.8/46.2 Chris­toph­er Shays, R-Conn. 53.8/46.2 Lin­coln Dav­is, D-Tenn. 54.2/45.8 Wil­li­am Li­p­in­ski, D-Ill. 54.3/45.7 John Murtha, D-Pa. 55.0/45.0 Jim Mar­shall, D-Ga. 55.2/44.8 Mike McIntyre, D-N.C. 55.7/44.3 *Hall switched to the Re­pub­lic­an Party in Janu­ary 2004. Sen­ate Twins and Odd Couples Sen­at­ors from the same state can demon­strate re­mark­ably sim­il­ar vot­ing pat­terns, but some­times they widely di­verge, as shown by the com­pos­ite scores in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings.

Com­pos­ite Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Con­ser­vat­ive Score Score Home-State Twins of the Same Farty (scores with­in 2 points of each oth­er) Ark. Blanche Lin­coln, D 58.7 41.3 Ark. Mark Pry­or, D 60.2 39.8 Idaho Larry Craig, R 24.0 76.0 Idaho Mike Crapo, R 24.0 76.0 Kan. Sam Brown­back, R 27.8 72.2 Kan. Pat Roberts, R 26.0 74.0 Ky. Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R 13.5 86.5 Ky. Jim Bun­ning, R 13.5 86.5 Maine Olympia Snowe, R 50.5 49.5 Maine Susan Collins, R 50.8 49.2 Ohio Mike DeW­ine, R 28.7 71.3 Ohio George Voinovich, R 29.8 70.2 S.D. Tom Daschle, D 79.8 20.2 S.D. Tim John­son, D 81.2 18.8 Wash. Patty Mur­ray, D 78.5 21.5 Wash. Maria Can­t­well, D 77.0 23.0

Home-State Twins of Dif­fer­ent Parties (scores with­in 2 points of each oth­er) Ga. Zell Miller, D 27.5 72.5 Ga. Saxby Cham­b­liss, R 25.5 74.5

Home-State Odd Couples of the Same Party (scores 20 points or more apart) Cal­if. Di­anne Fein­stein, D 68.0 32.0 Cal­if. Bar­bara Box­er, D 91.2 8.8 Pa. Ar­len Specter, R 49.7 50.3 Pa. Rick San­tor­um, R 13.5 86.5 Texas Kay Bailey 35.3 64.7 Hutchis­on, R Texas John Cornyn, R 13.5 86.5

Home-State Odd Couples of Dif­fer­ent Parties (scores 50 points or more apart) Ill. Richard Durbin, D 87.0 13.0 Ill. Peter Fitzger­ald, R 35.2 64.8 Iowa Charles Grass­ley, R 13.5 86.5 Iowa Tom Har­kin, D 89.3 10.7 Minn. Mark Dayton, D 88.3 11.7 Minn. Norm Cole­man, R 24.2 75.8 Mont. Max Baucus, D 69.8 30.2 Mont. Con­rad Burns, R 13.5 86.5 N.M. Pete Domen­ici, R 19.8 80.2 N.M. Jeff Binga­man, D 69.8 30.2 N.C. John Ed­wards, D 94.5 5.5 N.C. Eliza­beth Dole, R 28.2 71.8

Sen­at­ors on the Hot Seats in Novem­ber Some­times sen­at­ors “run to­ward the middle” by mod­er­at­ing their views near the end of their six-year term in a bid to ap­peal to swing voters as a tough elec­tion ap­proaches. But, ac­cord­ing to Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings, the 10 sen­at­ors who po­ten­tially face com­pet­it­ive elec­tion con­tests this year in­stead mostly moved to­ward the fringes of their party.

Com­pos­ite Con­ser­vat­ive Score Change From 2002 2003 2002-2003 Chris­toph­er (Kit) Bond, 76.8 81.0 +4.2 R-Mo. Jim Bun­ning, R-Ky. 77.2 86.5 +9.3 Lisa Murkowski, R-AK * 55.5 * Ar­len Specter, R-Pa. 51.5 50.3 -1.2

1998 Elec­tion 2000 Elec­tion Sen­at­or’s Vote Bush Vote Per­cent­age Per­cent­age Bond 53% 50% Bun­ning 50 57 Murkowski * 59 Specter 61 46

Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Score Change From 2002 2003 2002-2003 Bar­bara Box­er, D-Cal­if. 93.2 91.2 -2.0 Tom Daschle, D-S.D. 69.0 79.8 +10.8 Rus­sell Fein­gold, D-Wis. 84.7 89.5 +4.8 Blanche Lin­coln, D-Ark. 53.3 58.7 +5.4 Patty Mur­ray, D-Wash. 74.8 78.5 +3.7 Harry Re­id, D-Nev. 75.5 77.5 +2.0

1998 Elec­tion 2000 Elec­tion Sen­at­or’s Vote Bush Vote Per­cent­age Per­cent­age Box­er 53% 42% Daschle 62 60 Fein­gold 51 48 Lin­coln 55 51 Mur­ray 58 45 Re­id 48 50 * Murkowski was ap­poin­ted to her seat in Decem­ber 2002. State Del­eg­a­tions in the House This map shows the most-lib­er­al to most-con­ser­vat­ive state del­eg­a­tions in the House, based on av­er­age com­pos­ite lib­er­al scores in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings.

Av­er­age Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Scores for State Del­eg­a­tions in the House

Most-Lib­er­al State Del­eg­a­tions Mas­sachu­setts 89 Ver­mont 84 Rhode Is­land 78 Maine 76 Hawaii 75 Ore­gon 69 New York 68 Mary­land 67 Con­necti­c­ut 65 Cali­for­nia 61

Cent­rist State Del­eg­a­tions New Jer­sey 59 Wis­con­sin 59 North Dakota 57 Wash­ing­ton 57 West Vir­gin­ia 56 Illinois 54 Delaware 53 Arkan­sas 52 Min­nesota 51 New Mex­ico 49 Michigan 48 North Car­o­lina 47 Mis­sis­sippi 46 Ohio 46 Pennsylvania 46 Ten­ness­ee 46 Mis­souri 44 Texas 44 Col­or­ado 43 Ari­zona 42 New Hamp­shire 42 In­di­ana 41

Most-Con­ser­vat­ive State Del­eg­a­tions Iowa 39 South Car­o­lina 39 Vir­gin­ia 39 Flor­ida 38 Nevada 38 Geor­gia 36 Neb­raska 36 Idaho 35 Louisi­ana 35 Kan­sas 33 Ken­tucky 30 Alabama 27 Ok­lahoma 25 Utah 25 Alaska 23 Montana 23 South Dakota 21 Wyom­ing 14

Hil­lary Clin­ton When she first joined the Sen­ate in 2001, Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Cin­ton, D-N.Y., lay low, paid de­fer­ence to seni­or mem­bers, and — to the sur­prise of some ob­serv­ers — voted in the midrange of her party ideo­lo­gic­ally. More re­cently, however, Clin­ton has emerged as a celebrity spokes­wo­man and pro­lif­ic fun­draiser for the Demo­crats. And, al­though she has taken hawk­ish views on the Ir­aq war and na­tion­al de­fense, she ap­par­ently is com­fort­able vot­ing more lib­er­al, as shown by Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings.

Clin­ton’s Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Scores 2001 76.3 24 sen­at­ors (all Demo­crats) were more lib­er­al 2002 86.7 11 sen­at­ors (all Demo­crats) were more lib­er­al 2003 88.8 7 sen­at­ors (all Demo­crats) were more lib­er­al Zell Miller Dur­ing his term in the Sen­ate, Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., has con­sist­ently ranked as the cham­ber’s most con­ser­vat­ive Demo­crat in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s an­nu­al vote rat­ings. He has sided with Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans on one high-pro­file is­sue after an­oth­er. In fact, in 2003, 22 GOP sen­at­ors were more lib­er­al than Miller was. But Miller — who was elec­ted in 2000 to fill the seat of the late Sen. Paul Cover­dell, R-Ga., and is re­tir­ing this year — has re­fused to switch parties.

Miller’s Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Scores 2001 40.3 6 Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors were more lib­er­al 2002 37.3 7 Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors were more lib­er­al 2003 27.5 22 Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors were more lib­er­al A Texas Two­some In 2003, the most con­ser­vat­ive Demo­crat in the House was Rep. Ral­ph Hall, D-Texas. (On Janu­ary 2, 2004, Hall switched parties and filed for re-elec­tion as a Re­pub­lic­an.) Mean­while, the scores of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, ranked him as the most lib­er­al Re­pub­lic­an in the House in 2003. (He ran as the Liber­tari­an can­did­ate for pres­id­ent in 1988.)

Com­pos­ite Com­pos­ite Lib­er­al Score Con­ser­vat­ive Score Ral­ph Hall, D-Texas 46.8 53.2 Ron Paul, R-Texas 60.0 40.0 All in the Fam­ily Con­gress has five sets of close fam­ily mem­bers. Among the sib­lings, the older fam­ily mem­ber is the more mod­er­ate of the two, based on the com­pos­ite scores in Na­tion­al Journ­al’s 2003 vote rat­ings.

First Comp. Comp. Elec­ted Lib. Cons. to Score Score Age Con­gress SIB­LINGS Rep. Lin­coln Diaz-Bal­art, R-FL 49 1992 26.7 73.3 Rep. Mario Diaz-Bal­art, R-FL 42 2002 12.2 87.8 Rep. Sander Lev­in, D-Mich. 72 1982 75.8 24.2 Sen. Carl Lev­in, D-Mich. 69 1978 88.8 11.2 Rep. Lor­etta Sanc­hez, D-Cal­if. 44 1996 75.5 24.5 Rep. Linda Sanc­hez, D-Cal­if. 35 2002 94.2 5.8 FATH­ER-SON Sen. Ed­ward Kennedy, D-Mass. 72 1962 88.3 11.7 Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. 36 1994 79.7 20.3 COUS­INS Rep. Tom Ud­all, D-N.M. 55 1998 91.5 8.5 Rep. Mark Ud­all, D-Colo. 53 1998 80.8 19.2 Na­tion­al Journ­al

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