Definitive Ratings: The House's Most Conservative and Liberal Members

Todd Akin, of "legitimate rape," fame was farthest to the right, while 14 Democrats tied as the most left-wing members of the legislature.

Everyone knows American politics are unusually polarized these days. But who stands at the left and right poles? Our colleagues at National Journal are this week releasing their annual rankings of how liberal and conservative members of the House of Representatives are.

On the right side of the aisle, it will surprise almost no one that former Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri was the most conservative member of the House in 2012. Akin, of course, came to prominence with his ill-advised, ill-informed suggestion that in the case of "legitimate rape," a woman's body can prevent conception. That comment helped him crash and burn in his attempt to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill. Akin scored a 97.0 on NJ's scale.

Meanwhile, it's a crowded scene on the Democratic side: A whopping 14 legislators tied for the lead, with a 94.5 liberal ranking. Among the notable names on that list are John Conyers, John Lewis, Barbara Lee, and Bobby Rush.

Here are the leaderboards on both sides. Previous years' rankings are available here.

most-conservative.jpg

most-liberal.jpg

Presented by

David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Politics

Just In