The National Journal has released its annual Vote Ratings for 2010. The political magazine’s rating system analyzes how liberal and/or conservative individual Members of Congress are based on key votes on economic, social, and foreign policy issues. The Members are then given a liberal and a conservative rating in each policy category, which is used to develop a composite score.
Outgoing New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg ranked among one of the Senate’s top centrists, along with perpetual moderates like Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Scott Brown from Massachusetts, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, and Democrat-turned-Independent Joe Lieberman. Based on her early voting record, it seems doubtful that his successor, freshman Kelly Ayotte, will be quite as middle of the road.
NH Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen also falls in the realm of moderate, although she doesn’t make National Journal’s “The Centrists” list as Gregg does. Shaheen is ranked as the 31st most liberal Senator, and the 64th most conservative, with a liberal composite score of 73 and a conservative composite score of 27, which denotes that she is more liberal than 73 percent of her colleagues, and more conservative than the remaining 27 percent. To view Shaheen’s scores in each policy category, as well as those of her colleagues, visit the National Journal’s website.
Shaheen, who won her first term in 2008, remained relatively quiet through the 2012 midterm election, where a Republican wave flipped the NH Congressional Delegation, leaving Shaheen the lone Democrat in the group. Since then, she has shown evidence of taking the fiscal message of the election to heart, most recently focusing on a push to end federal sugar subsidies, so it won’t be surprising to see her 2011 rating move toward the middle.