New National Journal Ratings of Notable Pa. Representatives

A new list released by the National Journal rates House members based on how liberal or conservative their votes in 2011 were on economic, social, and foreign issues, as compared to other members of the House.  The list also gives a composite score of all issues, and ranks each member on a list of most liberal and most conservative.  These numbers could have an effect on the upcoming election, especially those in which incumbents are facing primary challenges.

In the most heated and interesting primary race in Pennsylvania, U.S. Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz (in the Democratic primary for the new 12th Congressional district) have similar results, with the liberal edge going to Critz.  Here are their numbers:

Jason Altmire:
·On economic issues, more liberal than 57 percent of House members (43 percent more conservative)
·On social issues, more liberal than 58 percent of House members (42 percent more conservative)
·On foreign issues, more liberal than 52 percent of House members (47 percent more conservative)
·Altmire’s composite rating is more liberal than 59 percent of House members, which puts him as 188th most liberal House member, and 242nd most conservative.

Mark Critz:
·On economic issues, more liberal than 59 percent of House members (40 percent more conservative)
·On social issues, more liberal than 58 percent of House members (41 percent more conservative)
·On foreign issues, more liberal than 62 percent of House members (37 percent more conservative)
·Critz’s composite rating is more liberal than 60 percent of House members, which puts him as 169th most liberal House member, and 261st most conservative.

Their most significant difference is on foreign issues, with Critz having a more liberal voting record than Altmire.  However, on some of the more “key” foreign policy votes, the Congressmen voted the same way.  Both voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which contained a controversial clause allowing the indefinite detention of anybody suspected of terrorism activities.  In addition, Altmire and Critz both voted against the bipartisan free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and Korea.

Their nearly identical ratings for economic and social issues are not likely to have a huge effect on voters.

The report reiterates what many observers have said: more than their records, this primary will be about style. Case in point: Critz has spent most of his time so far criticizing Altmire for his appearances on Fox News.

Here are the numbers from two other Congressmen facing primary challenges:

Tim Holden (D-17), who is facing a primary from Scranton attorney Matt Cartwright:
·On economic issues, more liberal than 58 percent of House members (42 percent more conservative)
·On social issues, more liberal than 57 percent of House members (42 percent more conservative)
· On foreign issues, more liberal than 56 percent of House members (44 percent more conservative)
·Holden’s composite rating is more liberal than 57 percent of House members, which puts him as 185th most liberal House member, and 244th most conservative.

Tim Murphy (R-18), who is facing a primary from former DC staffer Evan Feinberg of Peters Township:
·On economic issues, more conservative than 63 percent of House members (36 percent more liberal)
On social issues, more conservative than 56 percent more of House members (43 percent more liberal)
·On foreign issues, more conservative than 75 percent of House members (16 percent more liberal)
·Murphy’s composite rating is more conservative than 66.5 percent of House members – making him the 162nd most conservative House member, the 267th most liberal.

The rankings are based on key roll-call votes by the Congressmen on issues in the three categories of economic, social, and foreign policy issues.

February 24th, 2012 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “New National Journal Ratings of Notable Pa. Representatives”

  1. rdog says:

    Critz voted against Dodd-Frank because it was crafted by the large money centers to give them an edge small community banks. The Critz vote was a vote against Wall Street for Main Street. Do you really believe anything in this bill made our financial system safer?

  2. Sarah Lou says:

    Save Western PA-

    You do know that Critz voted against reforming the barons on wall street? Does Mark Critz get a free pass there? Where was he on that vote. Altmire voted FOR wall st reform.

    These candidates are all too conservative for me. I have to agree with the second post.

  3. David Diano says:

    considering how more than half the House is conservative republican douche bags, these scores just show there are no good candidates running for these seats.

  4. The difference with Lobbyist Altmire is that he is a former K Street lobbyist controled by the Health Care industry, who votes against the suffering middle class.

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