The gulf of Maine

By JEFF INGLIS  |  October 9, 2008

MICHAUD voted with Bush 31 percent of the time, differing from Allen in his support for banning human cloning for all purposes (including medical research), and in voting to oppose researching ways to develop stem cells other than destroying embryos.

John Cranford at Congressional Quarterly generously shared CQ’s tabulation data.

Jeff Inglis can be reached atjinglis@phx.com.

Calculating scores
Congressional Quarterly tracks all of the roll-call votes in the US House and US Senate, and how members of Congress vote. It also researches the president’s position on the votes, noting “any vote where the president expressed an opinion about the vote beforehand,” as CQ national editor John Cranford explains.

In the US House, those are normally votes on important bills — or, at the very least, votes on significant changes to bills, such as those in which representatives from both houses have conferred and agreed on compromises.

In the US Senate, votes included in the scoring also include those on confirmations of presidential appointments (which often result in even hard-core lefties voting “with the president” to confirm a judge, undersecretary, or even a major cabinet officer). And Senate scores include some procedural votes, such as “cloture,” by which the Senate votes to end debate on an issue. But cloture and other procedural votes are only included in scoring when they are the final positions lawmakers take on a bill, Cranford says.

Not included on CQ’s scorecard are any votes whose results are determined by “voice vote” or by “division,” when individuals’ positions are not recorded in the outcome.

CQ uses those results to determine a legislator’s “presidential support score,” the percentage of times a member casts his or her vote in alignment with the wishes of the president. The publication’s staff also track the positions of party leaders in Congress, to calculate a “party unity score.” That information is available online at www.cq-politics.com.

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