National Journal Vote Rankings: Partisanship Abounds

Since a few bipartisan votes at the beginning of last year, bipartisanship has largely died in the Senate, while the House has seen a largely unified GOP caucus vote in lockstep against the Democratic leadership's agenda.

That's what National Journal found in producing this year's congressional vote rankings, wherein NJ surveys a series of key votes in each chamber to rate members on a liberal/conservative spectrum and identify how voting dynamics have played out for the party caucuses in each chamber.

See National Journal's full write-up here; see the full interactive display of vote ratings here.

Hotline OnCall has a list of surprises: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), one of the more prominent progressives in the Senate, is rated as more conservative than average; centrist Indiana Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and Richard Lugar (R) got exactly the same rating; and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the maverick, is voting more conservative these days.

So who are the centrists who could, potentially, though the possibility looks slim at the moment, save us from this terrible partisan culture? In the Senate, there are some surprises to go with the usuals of Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snow (R-ME): Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Judd Gregg (R-NH), and George Voinovich (R-OH) got the three most centrist ratings, followed by Collins, Bayh, Lugar, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Snowe.

Aside from the broader trends fleshed out by NJ, here were the top liberals and conservatives in each chamber in 2009:

Most Conservative: Senate

1. James Inhofe (R-OK)
2. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
3. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
4. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
5. James Risch (R-ID)
6. John Thune (R-SD)
7. John Ensign (R-NV)
8. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
9. Richard Burr (R-NC)
10. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Most Liberal: Senate

1. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
1. Roland Burris (D-IL)
1. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
1. Jack Reed (D-RI)
1. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
6. John Kerry (D-MA)
6. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
8. Barbara Mikulski (D-DM)
9. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
10. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Most Conservative: House

1. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
1. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
1. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
1. Pete Olson (R-TX)
1. John Shadegg (R-AZ)
1. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
7. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
8. Mike Pence (R-IN)
9. Steve King (R-IA)
9. Tom McClintock (R-CA)

Most Liberal: House

1. Rush Holt (D-NJ)
1. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
1. John Olver (D-MA)
1. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
1. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
1. Louise Slaughter (D-CA)
1. Melvin Watt (D-NC)
1. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
9. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
10. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)