National Journal vote ratings

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Analysis
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Each year, National Journal publishes a vote rating analysis, which measures how conservatively or liberally each member of Congress voted the year before. This measurement is based on votes cast which fit into one of the following three categories: Economic, Social, and Foreign. A composite liberal/conservative score is then produced based on those three measurements. This score is solely used to rank members. For example, the legislator with the highest composite liberal score voted more liberally than any other member of congress. The composite conservative score is the inverse of the liberal score and can then be calculated by subtracting the liberal score from 100.[1]

Methodology

There are a series of steps used to determine the composite vote ratings of each member of congress. These steps are summarized below.[1]

First, roll-call votes are identified that contain economic, social, or foreign issues. Not all votes are used, such as though dealing with noncontroversial issues. From there, an analysis is performed to determine the degree in which each vote resembles other votes in the same category, and which yea votes correlate with which nay votes in each issue area. These votes are then identified as either liberal or conservative in nature.

The votes are then weighted on a scale of 1 to 3, based on how strongly they correlate with other votes in the same area. A 3 means the vote strongly correlated with other votes and is thus a good indication of ideology on the issue. From there, members are ranked in order of each of the three categories and assigned a percentile figure. This number represents the percentage of other members who voted less liberally or conservatively. For instance, a liberal score of 85 in the social category means that a member voted more liberally than 85 percent of the chamber on social issues.

Next, the composite scores are determined. To determine the composite liberal score, the liberal scores in all three areas of issues are added. Then, in each issue, 100 minus the conservative score is calculated, and those three numbers are added together. The figures from each of the previous steps are then added and divided by 6.

Once all composite scores are calculated they are ranked in order, completing the table.

2013

U.S. House

A total of 111 votes were used to develop the 2013 House vote ratings. The following tables display the full ratings of how each of the 435 members of the U.S. House voted in 2013.[2][3]

U.S. Senate

A total of 117 votes were used to develop the 2013 Senate vote ratings. The following tables display the full ratings of how each of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate voted in 2013.[2][3]

2012

U.S. House

A total of 116 votes were used to develop the 2012 House vote ratings. The following tables display the full ratings of how each of the 435 members of the U.S. House voted in 2012.[4][5]

U.S. Senate

A total of 116 votes were used to develop the 2012 Senate vote ratings. The following tables display the full ratings of how each of the 100 members of the U.S. Senate voted in 2012.[6][7]

2011

U.S. House

A total of 105 votes were used to develop the 2011 House vote ratings. The following tables display the full ratings of how each of the 435 members of the U.S. House voted in 2011.[8]