How Montana’s U.S. Delegation Ranks on ‘Liberal-Conservative Scales’

By Beacon Staff

The National Journal recently released its “liberal” and “conservative” ratings for every member of Congress. In the House, Montana’s lone Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican, scored a 77.5 on the conservative scale (or a 22.5 on the liberal scale) and was ranked the 106th most conservative member of the House.

In the U.S. Senate, Montana’s Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester each fell in about the same spot, toward the middle. Baucus scored a 60.7 on the liberal scale (or 39.3 on the conservative scale) and was ranked the 45th most liberal member in the Senate. On the same scale, Tester scored a 61.5 to rank the 41st most liberal. In fact, Tester and Baucus made the “Senate Twins” list because their scores were so similar.

The Journal says it bases its rankings on “separate scores for their roll-call votes on key economic, social and foreign-policy issues during 2009.”

The winners (or non-winner, depending on your point of view) from the rankings:

Most Conservative Senator: James Inhofe, Okla.
Most Liberal Senators: Sherrod Brown, Ohio; Roland Burris, Ill.; Ben Cardin, Md.; Jack Reed, R.I.; Sheldon Whitehouse, R.I. (tied)
Most Conservative Congressmen: Trent Franks, Ariz.; Doug Lamborn, Colo.; Randy Neugebauer, Texas; Pete Olson, Texas; John Shadegg, Ariz.; Mac Thornberry, Tex. (tied)
Most Liberal Congressmen: Rush Holt, N.J.; Gwen Moore, Wis.; John Olver, Mass.; Linda Sanchez, Calif.; Jan Schakowsky, Ill.; Louise Slaughter, N.Y.; Melvin Watt, N.C.; Henry Waxman, Calif.