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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ideology Scores for AL US House Members

Following Spencer Bachus' recent vote for the McCain "anti-torture" amendment there's been some discussion alleging Bachus is insufficiently conservative. While much of politics is perception, I thought I'd refer to the 2006 Almanac of American Politics, which objectively measures the ideology of each member of Congress, to shed some light on the debate. You are certainly free to disagree with the Almanac's measure, but they are widely considered to be a definitive source for American politics.

The Almanac measures each member's ideology on economic, social, and foreign policy. Here are the 2004 results for Alabama's delegation.

1st District -- Jo Bonner (R)
Economic - 13% liberal/87% conservative
Social - 24% liberal/76% conservative
Foreign - 0% liberal/96 % conservative

2nd District -- Terry Everett (R)
Economic - 25% liberal/74% conservative
Social - 0% liberal/91% conservative
Foreign - 25% liberal/68 % conservative

3rd District -- Mike Rogers (R)
Economic - 26% liberal/74% conservative
Social - 25% liberal/73% conservative
Foreign - 17% liberal/78% conservative

4th District -- Robert Aderholt (R)
Economic - 27% liberal/72% conservative
Social - 0% liberal/91% conservative
Foreign - 4% liberal/93 % conservative

5th District -- Bud Cramer (D)
Economic - 50% liberal/49% conservative
Social - 48% liberal/51% conservative
Foreign - 54% liberal/45 % conservative

6th District -- Spencer Bachus (R)
Economic - 17% liberal/80% conservative
Social - 20% liberal/77% conservative
Foreign - 25% liberal/68 % conservative

7th District -- Artur Davis (D)
Economic - 60% liberal/40% conservative
Social - 64% liberal/35% conservative
Foreign - 66% liberal/ 33% conservative

Remember, this information is just for 2004 so it's only a snapshot of each legislator's overall record, but it probably gives a good sense of their general ideology. So draw your own conclusions.

Project Vote Smart also has dozens of interest group ratings of members of Congress. Some of the groups are narrow in scope (e.g. gun rights/gun control) while others are more broad (conservative/liberal). So if the information I've provided above just whets your appetite for ideological measurement, then Project Vote Smart is an all you can eat buffet.

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