Blumenthal named most liberal
Sen. Richard Blumenthal's 2012 voting record earned him a first-place tie as the nation's most liberal U.S. senator, according to an authoritative analysis of legislative trends.
The rankings by the National Journal were based on 116 roll call votes in the House and Senate last year on economic matters, foreign policy and social issues. The National Journal assigned numerical values to each vote and toted up the totals for each lawmaker.
Blumenthal and Udall tied in the liberal category with percentile scores of 90.7, which meant that their voting records were more liberal than 90.7 of their Senate colleagues. Conversely, their conservative voting records put them in the 9.3 percentile.
By the same measure on the conservative scale, Risch scored 95.8 and Cornyn came in at 93.8.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., now retired, lived up to his reputation as a centrist, scoring 54.3 on the liberal scale and 45.7 conservative.
The most liberal Republican senator was Scott Brown of Massachusetts (score of 46.2 liberal and 53.8 conservative), who was defeated in the November election. The most conservative Democrat was Joe Manchin of West Virginia (47.7 liberal, 52.3 conservative).
The National Journal ratings provide a measure of party ideology as well as a metric of partisanship.
For the third year in a row, National Journal found that no Republican member of the Senate had a more liberal voting record than any Democrat, just as no Democratic senator had a more conservative record than any Republican.
Blumenthal, asked about his rating, said "the only label that matters to me is that I'm a fighter for Connecticut. I'm proud of my bipartisan work I do on veterans' affairs, national security, gun safety. I am a senator who reaches across the aisle" to work with Republican colleagues.
Among the five House Democrats from Connecticut, Rep. John Larson, D-East Hartford, compiled the highest liberal rating in the National Journal analysis, coming in at 83.5 on the liberal scale, making him the 67th most liberal among the 435 House members. The least liberal was Rep. Jim Himes, D-Greenwich, at 69.0; he was the 140th most liberal House member.
Only 10 House Democrats registered a more conservative score than the most liberal Republicans and only five Republicans were more liberal than the most conservative Democrats.
Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., was the most liberal House Republican, according to National Journal, with a 57.8 liberal score and 42.2 conservative. The most conservative House member was Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., (97.0 conservative) who gave up his House seat last year to make an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate.
A total of 14 House Democrats tied for first place on the liberal side, with scores of 94.5 liberal.