Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

01/24/2008 (2:02 pm)

McCain To the Center

On a challenge from a friend, I reviewed the American Conservative Union (ACU) ratings for Senator John McCain (R, AZ) for each of the years he’s served in the Senate. It turns out that McCain used to be a solid conservative, but shifted toward the center around 1997.

McCain’s lifetime rating from the ACU is 84, which seems center-right if taken at face value. However, his ratings used to be to the right of that point consistently, and now appear to the left of it consistently.

The arithmetic mean of McCain’s ACU ratings from 1987 through 1996 is 88.2; during that period, he was rated no lower than 80 for any one year.

The mean of McCain’s ACU ratings since 1997 is 74.9; during that period, he has been rated no higher than 81 for any one year.

I’ve read nothing that explains McCain’s shift in 1997. I speculate that perhaps it had something to do with collaboration with Senate Democrats over refusing to remove President Clinton from office, or with a reaction to the entire impeachment process. Whatever the cause, though, the shift is obvious in the raw data, and fairly quick. Data appear below.

Ann Coulter takes McCain’s record to the woodshed today on Human Events. She apparently thinks less of him than I do, and I don’t like the man.

Here’s the data, gathered from the American Conservative Union’s web site:

    2006 65
    2005 80
    2004 72
    2003 80
    2002 78
    2001 68
    2000 81
    1999 77
    1998 68
    1997 80
    1996 91
    1995 91
    1994 96
    1993 83
    1992 85
    1991 86
    1990 87
    1989 93
    1988 80
    1987 91

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January 26, 2008 @ 6:40 pm #

You’re off slightly. In 1996, McCain scored a 95, which actually furthers your point marginally (his first 10 year average is 88.7).

Also, McCain was in the House from 83-86. His ratings for those years were: 96, 86, 81, 73. (Avg: 84). That sharp drop off was in the year he was running for Senate.

January 26, 2008 @ 6:47 pm #

[…] Senators McCain Looking at John McCain’s 20 years in the senate, it’s remarkable how his ACU ratings dropped off precisely halfway […]

January 26, 2008 @ 7:21 pm #

Apollo is correct. Oops.

February 1, 2008 @ 6:58 pm #

[…] added that McCain’s lifetime ACU rating is around 83; but as I pointed out a while back, he voted conservative until 1996, and after that he consistently voted moderate, earning one of the […]

February 11, 2008 @ 11:13 am #

[…] voting history he’s 70% conservative where Clinton and Obama are less than 10% conservative (my analysis of his voting record here, Snarky Bastards’ improved version here). Two Supreme Court seats will likely be filled by […]

April 1, 2008 @ 6:54 am #

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