I noticed that Amy Klobuchar had moved left according to her first-dimension DW-Nominate score at Voteview since the end of May when I compared her to Joe Sestak a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to see if that was true of the rest of the Senators and Representatives running for the Democratic nomination for President. It turns out that nearly all the Senators have more liberal ideology scores at Voteview, but only one of the Representatives. However, even if their DW-Nominate scores haven't changed, half of the Representatives running for President have become relatively more liberal compared to the rest of the chamber, as the caucus as a whole has moved closer to the center over the past month.
Follow over the jump for all the changes in the candidates' scores and or placements since I posted Democratic presidential candidates from left to center from Voteview on June 1st. Just as a reminder, the more negative a member of Congress's score, the more liberal their voting record is.
The most liberal candidate according to Voteview is still Elizabeth Warren. Since I began following the Democratic candidates in April, she has moved steadily leftward. Then, her score was -0.762. At the end of May, her score was -0.767, making her the most liberal member of the 116th Senate in addition to the most liberal candidate. Warren's score is now -0.774, making her the most liberal member of both houses of Congress.
Kamala Harris has not had a steady a journey to the left as Warren. She began in April with a score of -0.702. She had moved slightly to the center by end of May with an ideology score of -0.696. Harris now has moved to the left of where she was last month with an ideology score of -0.710, making her more liberal than 97% of Democrats in the 116th Senate and the second most liberal Senator as well. All this time, she has been the second most liberal candidate according to Voteview.
Cory Booker is the one exception among Democratic candidates to the trend of moving to the left over the past month. True, his score went from -0.618 to -0.619 during late April and May, but it's now -0.611. He still ranks as the third most liberal candidate and is more liberal than 95% of Democrats in the 116th Senate, making him the third most liberal Senator as well.
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has drifted steadily leftward since April, when his score was -0.521. By the end of May, Bernie's ideology score was -0.524, making him more liberal than 96% of the 116th Senate. He has continued his leftward drift since, as he now has an ideology score of -0.526.
Kirsten Gillibrand has made the largest move to the left since April, when her score was -0.420. By the end of May, her ideology score was -0.427. At that time, she was more liberal than 79% of Democrats in the 116th Senate. She now has an ideology score of -0.439, a move of 0.019, and is currently more liberal than 81% of Democrats in the 116th Senate. Gillibrand may not have moved to the left of Bernie, but she has moved to the left of one other Senator.
As I mentioned above, most of the Representatives running for the Democratic nomination have not changed their ideological scores, but they have changed their relative placements to the other members of their caucus. This is true of Tim Ryan, whose score of -0.403 hasn't changed since April. However, his relative ranking has. In April and May, he ranked as more liberal than 55% of Democrats in the 116th House. With the same score, he is now more liberal than 61% of Democrats currently serving in the House of Representatives.
Eric Swalwell has moved very slightly to the left since the end of May, when his ideology score of -0.365. Then, he was more conservative than 59% of Democrats in the 116th House. With an ideology score of -0.366, he is currently more liberal than 55% of Democrats currently serving in the House of Representatives.
Seth Moulton has bucked the trend, becoming more conservative since April, when his score was -0.299. At the end of may, Moulton had an ideology score of -0.295, which was more conservative than 73% of Democrats in the 116th House. He has continued his rightward drift and now has an ideology score of -0.293. However, he has merely tracked the Democratic caucus's move the the center, as he is still more conservative than 73% of Democrats currently serving in the House of Representatives. Nice trick.
Now I come to the candidate who inspired me to track ideologies, Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard's ideology score has held steady at -0.279 since April. Back then, she was more conservative than 77% of Democrats in the 116th House. Oddly enough, that has not allowed her to hold her place relative to the rest of the Democrats currently serving in the House of Representatives, as she is now more conservative than 78% of them. At least one other Representative has moved to her left even as several Representatives have moved to the right past Ryan and Swalwell but stopped short of Moulton.* Still, her current relative move to the right reinforces the reason I started tracking candidates on Voteview, which was to demonstrate that Gabbard is not "objectively further left then the rest of the Dem primary field," but off to its right.
Amy Klobuchar has shown the second strongest move to the left after Gillibrand. Between April and the end of May, Klobuchar moved slightly to her left from -0.250 to -0.253, which was more conservative than 75% of Democrats in the 116th Senate. As I first noted in Joe Sestak at Voteview and On The Issues, she moved more strongly to her left since with a current score of -0.265. Klobuchar moved farther to her left mostly by voting against confirming a bunch of nominees, mostly judges, and a defense construction bill. Voteview apparently scored these votes as making her more liberal economically, even if they don't seem to be explicitly about economics. Her more liberal score has allowed her to pass two or three Senators on her way to the left, as she is now more conservative than 70% of Democrats currently serving in the Senate.
The most conservative/moderate of the members of Congress running for the Democratic nomination is still Michael Bennet, who had an ideological score of -0.209 in May, making him more conservative than 88% of Democrats in the 116th Senate. His score is now -0.211, which has allowed his relative placement to change, as Bennet is now more conservative than 86% of the Democrats in the upper chamber of Congress. Even Bennet has become relatively more liberal as he has campaigned for the nomination to compete for the highest office in the land.
By the way, the leftward movement of Democratic candidates isn't only shown by the Voteview scores of the current members of Congress; it's demonstrated by the Vote Match scores of all the candidates at On The Issues, which is something I found out after I wrote Wayne Messam at On The Issues, take one. Nearly every candidate has become more liberal either economically or socially, and a few have moved left on both axes. I'll get around to that, but only after the holiday. Stay tuned.
*I don't know whose voting record has allowed them to pass Gabbard to the left, but I know at least three Representatives that Voteview considers to have moved to the right over the past two months, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. They used to cluster near Barbara Lee, who has consistently been one of the most liberal members of the House with scores lower than -0.600. Now, they have scores ranging from -0.303 to -0.330, placing them much closer to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose score is -0.213.
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