Senate, House Dems Equally Far Left, Conservative Group Says, as GOP Remains Solidly Right

May 6, 2020 Updated: May 7, 2020
Democrats in the House of Representatives are often viewed as radical left-wingers, but their partisan Senate colleagues are just as extreme, according to the latest congressional voting scorecard.

“The days of the ‘moderate’ Democrat Party are over,” American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Matt Schlapp told The Epoch Times on May 6, regarding his organization’s congressional voting scorecard for 2019.

The ACU was founded in 1964 and is best known for its annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The group—like the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)—has rated Congress since 1971.

“Our ratings show that lock-and-step Democratic lawmakers and the insurgent ‘Squad’ have taken to heart the socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren,” Schlapp said.

“By earning more zero percent ratings than ever before, congressional Democrats have demonstrated that they’ve abandoned any form of moderation and chosen the path forged by their radicalized party leadership.”

The ACU scorecard is based on how a representative or senator voted on 26 specific bills, procedural votes, or resolutions the conservative group believes represent the best measure of an elected official’s views.

Democrats in the lower chamber of Congress are led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who wasn’t scored for 2019 because officials in that position don’t normally vote.

Pelosi is, however, among the most radically left-wing members of the House, as seen in her 4 percent rating in 2018 prior to her current speakership, and her 3 percent lifetime rating.

She has been in Congress since 1987 and became the first woman ever elected Speaker in 2007.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was one of 36 Senate Democrats to receive a zero percent rating for 2019; he received a 9 percent rating in 2018, and his lifetime ACU score is 5 percent.

Schumer was first elected to the House in 1981 and was elected to the Senate in 1998.

Because of the 36 zero ratings, the Senate Democrats’ average overall score was 3 percent for 2019, compared to 11 percent for 2018. The most conservative Democrat in the Senate is Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who scored a 32, according to ACU.

Sens. Kirsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama followed Manchin with scores of 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Former Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate were among the most radical, with Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York scoring 6 percent, 6 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.

Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were among the 36 Senate Democrats with zero percent scores. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who caucuses with Senate Democrats and was a presidential contender in 2016 and 2020, also scored zero percent. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who also caucuses with Democrats, scored a 9 percent rating.

Senate Republicans scored an overall average of 74 percent, with nine scoring 90 percent or higher, including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) with a 100 percent rating. The other eight included Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and James Lankford of Oklahoma, all with 95 percent, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Ben Sasse of Nebraska at 91 percent, and Mike Enzi of Wyoming at 90 percent.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the least conservative among Republican senators with a 23 percent score.

The lifetime ACU scores for current GOP senators is 82 percent, compared to 7 percent for current Senate Democrats.

In the House, Democrats’ overall average score for 2019 was also 3 percent. Even so, a dozen House Democrats scored 40 percent or higher, with three above 50 percent.

House Republicans’ overall average for 2019 was 81 percent, meaning they voted the conservative position in four of every five opportunities. Fourteen House GOPers scored 100 percent, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who represented a North Carolina district in 2019. Eleven House Republicans scored 97 percent.

The lifetime ACU score for current House Democrats is 6 percent, compared to 83 percent for current House Republicans.

Contact Mark Tapscott at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc