On Sunday, the Denver Post published an article on the relative liberal standings of Mark Udall vis a vis other prominent members of his party. El Presendente did an analysis and we made separate observations.
The article was based on the prolific work of academic Kieth T. Poole. Dr Poole has created a mechanism for rating Congress, congressional leaders, and even presidents against their contemporaries, past and present.
While it appears that Dr. Poole cannot manipulate his statistics, the same cannot be said for active members of Congress. Congressmen need only change their voting pattern to move around on the tables
Sometimes politicians who are running for higher office feel the need to deceive the public as to where they are on the political spectrum. They do this by moderating their positions, their votes and their rhetoric in the hope that no one will look at their past record.
A good example in this election would be Mark Udall's dropping his co-sponsorship of Dennis Kucinich's Deprartment of Peace bill after he decided to run for the Senate.
Ace political analyist David Sirota opined in the Denver Post that no one one in Colorado would know who Dennis Kucinich was or care about this. We lampooned Sirota's argument with our "Nobody Knows About the Loon in the Attic" observations.
While Mark Udall has not moderated his rhetoric, he has tried to make his voting record appear more moderate.
Dr. Poole's statistics show Mark Udall ranked as the 182 d most liberal member of the 110th Congress. Colorado is a conservative leaning state. Ranking 182 of 435 puts him left of center in a left leaning Congress He is near the 40th percentile of liberalism in this Congress.
By voting this way in 2007, he could hope that some, including the Denver Post, would argue that Mark Udall is voting as a moderate in the 110th Congress. The Denver Post has a history of claiming that very liberal politicians are "moderate," and thus helping them over the finish line.
Is Mark Udall really this close to the center of a liberal congress? A very easy way to do a reality check on Mark Udall's voting record is to go back in time. According to Dr. Poole's statistics, Mark Udall's voting records driven standards for the previous congresses are:
109th 68th most liberal
108th 82d most liberal
107th 25th most liberal
106th Not Provided
These statistics make a compelling case that Mark Udall has again attempted to deceive the public. It is a habit, so much so that we have a "Udall as a liar" tag on this blog.