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A Minnesota voter’s guide to partisan voting habits

WASHINGTON — You’ve probably heard it a many times already, and will probably hear it many more times more before November. Just how often did [insert politician here] vote with [insert boogeyman politician here], and are they really looking out for YOU, your children and the American way of life, etc., etc.

Given that attack’s prevalence, I thought it might be instructive to provide a chart of exactly how often our representatives voted with their party leaders. The most common charge, leveled at Democrats who are trying to distance themselves, is that they vote too often with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Percentage of votes aligned with Nancy Pelosi

  • 99 percent, Betty McCollum
  • 97 percent, Keith Ellison
  • 96 percent, Jim Oberstar
  • 95 percent, Tim Walz
  • 80 percent, Collin Peterson
  • 29 percent, Erik Paulsen
  • 28 percent, John Kline
  • 25 percent, Michele Bachmann

The contrasting charge, of course, is being in lock-step with the GOP leadership. This is now being alleged by noting how often someone votes with House Minority Leader John Boehner, the frontrunner for House Speaker if the GOP wins back the House.

Percentage of votes aligned with John Boehner

  • 97 percent, Michele Bachmann
  • 95 percent, John Kline
  • 92 percent, Erik Paulsen
  • 50 percent, Collin Peterson
  • 47 percent, Tim Walz
  • 45 percent, Jim Oberstar
  • 44 percent, Betty McCollum
  • 42 percent, Keith Ellison

Note: All voting comparisons are for the 111th Congress only (2009-10), compiled by OpenCongress, a service of the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation. You can run your own head-to-head compairsons on any representative or senator here.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/13/2010 - 07:05 pm.

    Even more interesting than the party loyalists on either side – those with “voting with …” percentages in the 90s – are the bottom 5 in the “Boehner Box.” What’s an ideologue to do with Collin Peterson, for example? Just when it seems convenient to assert that he’s in lockstep with Pelosi – like that would be a bad thing – someone will point out that he votes with Boehner half the time.

    If I lived in his district, I’d have to vote for him just because he almost certainly irks people on both sides of the aisle. Maybe he… gasp… thinks for himself! Maybe the other Democrats – all of them voting with Boehner more than 40 percent of the time – do the same thing and think for themselves! Good grief! Thinking Congressional Representatives!! What next? A President who graduated from Harvard?

    Oh, wait…

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