The Senate finally voted on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Unfortunately, it didn’t receive the votes required to pass. Want to see how they voted? Check out heritageactionscorecard.com to see how your Senators voted on one of the most important energy projects in recent years.
We launched an all-new legislative scorecard website in June, and as part of that launch, we built an API for our scorecard’s data. This means that authorized developers can incorporate the Heritage Action legislative score into their websites.
Our updated dashboard pages were the first use of the API. The next thing we built is a card that can show scores in any post on The Forge. Like this: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100%.
Today I’m happy to announce we’ve made that scorecard function available to anyone with a WordPress site via an all-new WordPress plugin.
Do conservative states send conservatives to Congress?
To answer the question, we have to know two pieces of information. First, we have to identify which states are conservative. As it happens, Gallup just released a report on the self-described political ideology of the states. Second, we have to identify which lawmakers are conservative. Last week, Heritage Action for America announced 29 Members of Congress — six Senators and 23 Representatives — achieved Sentinel status in the 112th Congress by scoring a 90% or higher on the organization’s comprehensive legislative scorecard.
As it turns out, only four of Heritage Action’s 29 Sentinels come from the ten most conservative states, as defined by Gallup. Of those, three came from Utah: Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, and Representative Jason Chaffetz. The other, John Flemming, hailed from Louisiana.
It’s not just the lack of congressional Sentinels from conservative states that is surprising, though. As the chart below reveals, Gallup’s ten most conservative states are not, with the exception of Utah, sending a posse of rabble-rousing conservatives to Washington.
As a point of reference, Republicans averaged 66 percent in the House and 73 percent in the Senate on Heritage Action’s scorecard.
For some additional contrast, see the chart below on the states with the most congressional Sentinel – Arizona and South Carolina.
Gallup notes that while the “distribution of ideology in 2012 generally reflects the familiar ‘blue state,’ ‘red state’ patterns that define the political geography of today’s modern America,” there are differences:
The top 10 conservative states are all red states that vote reliably Republican in national elections, all located in the nation’s Southern, Midwestern, and Mountain West regions. These include (in addition to Alabama, North Dakota, and Wyoming) Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Arkansas. There is not, however, a perfect correlation between ideology and party. Three of the 10 most Republican states — Kansas, Montana, and Alaska — do not rank among the most conservative states. And Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas rank in the top 10 conservative states but not the 10 most Republican.
We see similar variation amongst congressional delegations. Some of the most conservative states are home to run of the mill average-scoring Republicans. And in the case of states such as North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska and Arkansas, they are home to self-proclaimed moderate Democrats (all of whom voted for Obamacare).
Gallup’s bottom line is that “conservatives still outnumber both moderates and liberals.” Now, we just need lawmakers in Congress to represent that reality.
The Senate spent the week mostly working on the farm bill, which we key voted against. But while they focused on that massive expansion of subsidies and food stamps, we worked behind the scenes to push out our other messages, including an appearance by our CEO Michael A. Needham on MSNBC. The National Journal picked up on Mike’s appearance, noting the hurdles GOP nominee Mitt Romney faces because of conservative skepticism of other elected Republican leaders in Congress.
We also continued to engage on the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), the dangerously-flawed treaty that would erode U.S. sovereignty by putting it in the hands of an unelected U.N. council based in Jamaica. Our communications director, Dan Holler, was quoted by OneNewsNow over the problems with the treaty. We also did radio interviews in several key states, ramping up the pressure at the local level of Senators who refuse to take a stand on the treaty.
Our press mentions this week were focused on a few key areas: the farm bill and the highway bill.
The Hill: Club for Growth and Heritage Action have played central roles in mobilizing conservatives in recent months, exerting particular influence with the large Tea Party caucus.
1450 WHTC: The conservative Club for Growth and Heritage Action say they’ll push Tea Party fiscal hawks to defeat the Senate Farm Bill over new commodity spending and not enough food stamp cuts. The groups expect to key vote the Senate bill – punishing members on the groups’ annual scorecards for voting for the bill.