Saturday, August 31, 2019

An update on Democratic candidates' Voteview scores before Congress returns from August recess

I told my readers to "stay tuned for an update to Senators and Representatives running for the Democratic nomination are drifting to the left as they campaign as the final post of the month."  I decided to go ahead even after I finding little change with no clear trends.  I suppose that's what happens when the members of Congress are campaigning instead of voting, both because they are choosing the former over the latter and because Congress is in recess during August.  That's a marked contrast to the story told by their Vote Match scores at On The Issues, which can be revised based on their statements on the campaign trail and do not depend on their votes and so told a tale of the bulk of them moving left.

Here are their current scores presented from left to center.  More negative scores mean the member of Congress is more liberal, while less negative scores mean they are more moderate.
  • Elizabeth Warren was -0.774 in July and is now -0.769, moving slightly to the center/right, but is still the most liberal member of Congress.
  • Kamala Harris was -0.710 in July and is now -0.713 and is still the second most liberal member of the current Senate, so she is continuing her leftward drift according to Voteview, which contrasts with her drift to the center according to On The Issues.
  • Cory Booker continued drifting to the center from a Voteview score of -0.611 in July and a score of -0.607 now, but is still the third most liberal member of the current Senate.  This contrasts with his move left according to On The Issues.
  • Bernie Sanders remained at -0.526 as the fourth most liberal member of the current Senate.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand left the nomination contest with her Voteview score unchanged at -0.439, which is still more liberal than 81% of Democrats in the current Senate.
  • On the one hand, Tim Ryan's Voteview score remained unchanged at -0.403.  On the other hand, his relative position became more liberal.  He was more liberal than 55% of Democrats in the 116th House in July but is now more liberal than 62% of Democrats in the current House.  As I wrote last month, nice trick!
  • When Seth Moulton complained about Democratic candidates moving too far to the left when he dropped out, he looked hypocritical, as Vote Match scores at On The Issues showed him moving sharply to his left.  However, his Voteview score makes him look more sincere. In July, it was -0.293, making him more conservative than 73% of Democrats currently serving in the House of Representatives in July.  Now, it's -0.286, a measurable move to the right making him now more conservative than 74% of House Democrats.
  • Tulsi Gabbard remained unchanged at -0.279 and more conservative than 78% of Democrats in the current House.
  • Amy Klobuchar continues to move to the left according to both Voteview and On The Issues.  Her Voteview score was -0.265 in July, which placed her as more conservative than 70% of Democrats currently serving in the Senate then.  Now, it's -0.269, which is more conservative than 68% of Democrats in the current Senate.  This is the largest score change to the left of any of the candidates.
  • Finally, Michael Bennet became more slightly more liberal according to his Voteview score, moving slightly to the left from -0.211 to -0.212 while becoming relatively more conservative at the same time.  Bennet was more conservative than 86% of the Democrats in the upper chamber of Congress in July but is now more conservative than 88% of Democrats now, which is where he sat in May.
The next recess is scheduled for the first two weeks of October.  I will try to update the candidates' Voteview scores then.

That's it for August.  Stay tuned for an entry about the Emmy nominees for a Sunday entertainment feature to begin September.

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