Adapted from a response I gave to Alan in the Obama? thread:
It is amazing to me that Obama and McCain are each the leading choice, within their respective parties, of “independents” and those supposedly seeking bridges across the partisan divide.
The stats on the most recent 50 roll call votes, available at Keith Poole’s VoteView site, show the following, on the one-dimensional L-R scale:
Obama, 11th most L
McCain, 8th most R
Apparently “post-partisanship” has to do with something other than voting record.
While I have the relevant page open, a few other Senators that may be of interest:
Sanders, 3rd most L (after Feingold and Dodd)
Kerry, 14th most L
Clinton, 20th most L
Lieberman, 32d most L (out of 51 Dems)
While Lieberman is no lefty, notice how far he is from the Republicans that he is often accused by liberals of resembling.1
Back on the R side of things, that other alleged bridge-builder, Hagel, is the 26th most R (which puts him just left of his party’s median). At least his claim is better than those of Obama or McCain.
Granted, these one-dimensional rankings are a blunt measure, but if Senate record matters, Obama and McCain are due for some scrutiny if they become (or look on the cusp of becoming) the nominees.
(Turning to the House members who are running for President, Kucinich is his party’s 5th most L, while Paul is his party’s 2nd most R.)
- There is no longer any overlap between the members of the two parties. That is, there are no Democrats to the right of any Republican, or vice versa. [↩]