Judging by our scorecard, all the talk about growing political polarization has a basis in fact. We score 20 votes in each house, on a wide range of foreign and domestic issues. In 2007, there were 53 House members who achieved a perfect score (our "ADA Heroes"), and 43 who got every vote wrong (the Zeros). In the latest survey, the ranks of the Heroes swelled to 98, but there were also a lot more Zeros--75. In the Senate, the three Heroes of '07 became 16 last year. (Zeros are generally scarcer in the Upper Chamber: 3 in '07, 1 last year.)If you take a look at what happened in Virginia, however, it appears as though it’s only the Republicans who are involved in the extreme partisanship. 3 of the 5 Republicans in the Virginia Congressional Delegation (Cantor, Goodlatte, and Forbes) all scored a 0 on ADA’s scorecard. This is important to note because you truly have to work extremely hard to make sure you vote the wrong way on every single bill that was being considered for the scorecard. What’s really a shame is that ADA has been focusing on things like it’s Working Families Win project in recent years, which means that these folks are really voting against working class families during an extremely tough economic time.
Now Frank Wolf and Rob Wittman might not have scored a 0, but they still didn’t show too much of a desire to pass productive legislation. Wittman scored a 5% because he voted the wrong way on almost every bill, but did support H.R. 626 which gave federal employees the ability to take up to 4 weeks leave to help care for a newborn child. Wolf managed to score a 10% because he voted in favor of HR 2, a motion that helped provide health insurance to children by concurring with the Senate amendment to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Virginia’s Democrats in the House of Representatives had a variety in how they scored, but averaged a 81%. Here are the individual scores.
Glenn Nye -- 70%
Bobby Scott -- 95%
Tom Perriello -- 70%
Jim Moran -- 85%
Rick Boucher -- 75%
Gerry Connolly -- 95%
In the Senate, Mark Warner scored a 95% and Jim Webb scored a 100%. For those of you whose interested, you can now compare those results to the “snapshot” below of the national averages.