In an effort to divide the nation that he pledged to unite, President Joe Biden routinely decries “MAGA extremists in the Republican Party.” A March 27 White House fact sheet, for example, excoriated “Extreme MAGA Congressional Republicans.”
Biden’s regime-media bodyguards parrot that sentiment.
A new group called the Institute for Legislative Analysis scrutinized 38,655 votes among all members of the 117th Congress. ILA examined roll-call votes from 2022: 43 in the Senate, 79 in the House. These covered fiscal policy, energy, health care, national security, and more. That yielded an overall Limited Government Index, with 0% the most liberal and 100% the most conservative.
These hard data confirm that bicameral Democrats vote in near unison and much closer to the extreme Left than does the GOP on the Right. Democrats wiggle in a narrow band. Republicans waltz beneath a wide ideological rainbow.
I asked ILA to divide these parliamentary scores into five segments. The Left quintile goes from 0 to 20; Center Left: 20-40; Center: 40-60; Center Right: 60-80; Right: 80-100.
Among 47 Senate Democrats, 46 landed in the Left quintile. Only one voted Center Left.
Republicans, however, held much more ground: Three GOP senators scored Center Left; Center: 10; Center Right: 15; Right: 21.
Of the 218 House Democrats, 217 voted Left. Just one voted Center Left.
House Republicans celebrated diversity: Five rated Center Left; Center: 16; Center Right: 96; Right: 91.
The average Senate Republican scored a Center Right 72, or 28 points from the “Right edge.”
The typical Senate Democrat’s rating of 5 nearly rolled him or her off the Left cliff.
The average House Democrat earned a 5. Same plight.
The standard House Republican secured a 77, a tad Right of his or her Senate counterpart, but far less likely to tumble over a philosophical precipice than would an everyday House Democrat.
On issues, senators disagreed most fervently on education, with Republicans averaging 100 and Democrats 0. They converged on workforce and labor matters, with Republicans averaging a Centrist 55 and Democrats a Center Left 31.56.
House members split furthest on free speech and elections. Republicans averaged 100; Democrats 2.25. (“Democrats stole the White House in 2020!” “No, we didn’t!”)
Though still far apart, on regulations, they differed least: Republicans 70.74; Democrats 10.15.
Maine’s Susan Collins is the Senate’s most liberal Republican, with a Center Left 30.23. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, with his Center Left 23.81, is the most conservative and only Senate Democrat outside the Left quintile.
Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick is the most left-wing Republican, at 24.05. Maine’s Jared Golden is the most right-wing Democrat. His 20.25 makes him the only House Democrat beyond the Left column, and by an eyelash—just 0.25%. Among Democrats, Center Left is conservative.
“Democrats simply vote in lockstep, and Republicans are far less uniform,” says Institute for Legislative Analysis President Fred McGrath. “Our analytics reveal the GOP’s spectrum of beliefs.”
McGrath and his team previously compiled the American Conservative Union’s state-level and congressional scorecards. (ACU’s findings mirrored ILA’s.) They are doing likewise at the Institute for Legislative Analysis and crafting even more robust tools to sharpen the teeth of political-watchdog organizations.
For their part, Republican voters might ponder these statistics and wonder why they support legislators who stray so far from the GOP’s core Right ideas. Or they could congratulate themselves on electing a congressional party with minds as open as the Great Plains.
Democratic voters might ask themselves why they back lawmakers who are so far from America’s founding principles of individual freedom, limited government, and free enterprise. Or they could do cartwheels over Democrats’ dogged loyalty to their toxic ideas.
Americans should ask Biden and the regime media why they keep lying about “centrist Democrats” in Congress who statistically do not exist—even as alleged “far-right Republicans” vote from Center Left to Right.
The Institute for Legislative Analysis’ evidence proves that the Capitol harbors only one extremist group: congressional Democrats.
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.
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