Dem Lawmakers Vote For Leftism In Lockstep, While Republicans Routinely Abandon Conservatism, Analysis Finds

Dem Lawmakers Vote For Leftism In Lockstep, While Republicans Routinely Abandon Conservatism, Analysis Finds

Democrat state lawmakers are more unified and committed to a leftist ideology than Republican lawmakers are to conservatism, according to a report from the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Republicans voted for conservative policies 77% of the time, while Democrats voted for liberal policies 87% of the time, according to the analysis of all 7,400 lawmakers in the 50 statehouses during last year’s legislative sessions.

The study by CPAC’s affiliated Center for Legislative Accountability concluded that Democrats were more likely to “stick together” on issues important to the party’s base, while Republicans “broke apart.”

“Republicans run on conservative promises, but after they win more of them abandon the tough votes on key conservative policies when compared to Democrats whose first rule is to stick together,” the group said. “Our analysis shows how moderate Republicans broke apart on key issues like parental choice in education, securing strong voter ID, or putting a stop to COVID mandates.”

The analysis found a mismatch between the desires of the populace and how state representatives acted.

Ranking among the 10 states with the most liberal Republican lawmakers were Mississippi, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Idaho. That’s despite Republicans holding strong majorities in those legislatures, and the state’s population overwhelmingly voting for Republican in election after election.

As a group, Mississippi Republican lawmakers had an average conservative score of 58%, making them less conservative than Republicans in New Jersey, Maryland, and Oregon. The state where Republicans voted most conservative was a swing state: Wisconsin.

The findings emphasize that the states advancing conservative legislation are not doing it because of legislative dominance, but because of committed policymaking. Florida, for example, is a traditionally swing state in presidential elections, and Republicans don’t hold nearly the percentage of seats in the state legislature that they do in places like Wyoming. But those Florida Republicans take full advantage of the majority they do have, with a conservative score of 89%.

Looking at state lawmakers regardless of party, West Virginia was rated the most conservative in the country. Not only did Republicans dominate the chamber, but they were also complemented by Democrats who were not particularly liberal.

The most-radical Democrats were in New Jersey, where they had a 0% conservative ranking, followed by Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine, and Oregon, at 1%.

A 2021 analysis by The Daily Wire, which relied in part on CPAC’s categorizations of state bills, led to similar conclusions.

“The red states are actually the worst” when it comes to moderate Republicans, Andrew Roth, president of the State Freedom Caucus Network, told The Daily Wire in 2021. “A lot of Democrats know they can’t get elected with a D next to their name, so they put an R next to their name and then vote like liberals.”

The exact reason for the failure of the most conservative state legislatures to behave like conservatives is unknown. Candidates who are more apolitical tend to run as Republicans, since it’s the only way to win elections in deep red pockets of the country. The result is that statehouses in 2022 follow a similar pattern as local school boards: Often liberal even in conservative places, with few voters paying enough attention to local politics to notice.

Activists say that if the goal is conservative policy rather than just winning elections, voters and big donors alike should shift their focus from congressional seats and the presidency to state laws in red states, where they can notch wins and show the rest of the nation the result of conservative policies.

“Conservatives need to get real that maybe spending all this money on congressional races to get one vote that doesn’t actually affect policy is not nearly as meaningful as spending money in states where the money goes further and they can actually implement policy,” Thomas Bradbury, CPAC’s director of policy and advocacy, said.

Related: 19 Statehouses Have Bigger Republican Majorities Than Florida. This Group Is Making Sure They Act Like It.

Related: Why Did Wyoming Kill School Choice? Deep-Red States Often Don’t Act Like It, Data Shows

Related: Why Legislatures In The Deep-Red States That Sent Romney And Cheney To Washington ‘Vote Like Liberals’

How conservative were the Republicans in your statehouse in 2022?

1. Wisconsin: 94%
2. Michigan: 93%
3. New Hampshire: 92%
4. California: 91%
5. Iowa: 90%
6. Maine: 89%
7. Colorado: 89%
8. Florida: 89%
9. North Carolina: 89%
10. Pennsylvania: 87%
11. West Virginia: 87%
12. Georgia: 86%
13. Ohio: 86%
14. Kentucky: 86%
15. Montana: 84%
16. Tennessee: 84%
17. Texas*: 83%
18. Delaware: 82%
19. Oklahoma: 81%
20. Arizona: 81%
21. Kansas: 80%
22. Arkansas*: 79%
23. Alabama: 78%
24. Washington: 78%
25. Minnesota: 78%
26. Louisiana: 77%
27. Missouri: 77%
28. South Carolina: 77%
29. Massachusetts: 75%
30. Indiana: 75%
31. New York: 74%
32. Vermont: 74%
33. Rhode Island: 74%
34. Utah: 74%
35. North Dakota*: 73%
36. Virginia: 73%
37. Illinois: 72%
38. New Mexico: 71%
39. Nevada*: 70%
40. Idaho: 68%
41. South Dakota: 68%
42. Oregon: 68%
43. Wyoming: 66%
44. Maryland: 65%
45. New Jersey: 59%
46. Mississippi: 58%
47. Alaska: 57%
48. Connecticut: 54%
49. Hawaii: 26%

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[By: Luke Rosiak

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