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The Top 5 Most Partisan Democrat Senators of 2012

by Thomas G. Brown, published
Source: U.S. Senate Official Photo

It is no secret that partisanship is more polarized than ever. From local politics to the Senators in Washington D.C., the barriers to policy making have been bolstered by this extreme partisanship. Here is a list of the top five most partisan Democrats in the Senate.

To determine partisanship, which is generally subjective, the rankings provided by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) as well as are used to demonstrate how often a candidate voted along party lines. The ADA ranking looks at 20 key votes on everything from Heath Care and Education Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) to the Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Act (H.R. 2965)

Tom Udall D-NM 96% ADA 95%

The only vote keeping Mr. Udall from gaining a 100% rating from the ADA was the vote against the Unemployment Compensation Act (H.R. 4213). Other than that he has voted with his party over 96% of the time since 1987 when he first entered the Senate. He did vote for Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173) along with 53 of the 57 Democrats in the Senate.

Charles Schumer D-NY 96% ADA 95%

Senator Schumer was the sponsor of the controversial Ex-Patriot Act (S.3205) which would impose a 30% tax on capital gains by citizens who renounce their citizenship to avoid taxes. This determination would be carried out by the IRS without any type of hearing. This is not something that one would expect from a Democrat as they are thought of as  protectors of civil liberties. But, if you look at the co-sponsors of the bill, all 4 are Democratic Senators one of whom is number 5 on this list Ben Cardin of Maryland.

Robert Mendez D-NJ 96% ADA 90%

The Senator from New Jersey has consistently voted with his party, as his 96% rating from Open Congress indicates, since he was elected to Congress in 1993. He voted along with 55 Democrats and zero Republicans to pass the the Lilly Leadbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (S. 181). This bill, which is now law, enforces equal pay for women.

Sheldon Whitehouse D-RI 96.% ADA 90%

Despite recently being in the news urging Fannie May and Freddie Mac to allow debt forgiveness for those severely hit by the mortgage crisis, he voted in favor of the TARP bailout. TARP helped the very banks that engendered the financial crisis in the first place. TARP was passed with a majority of Democratic senators.

Ben Cardin D-MD 96% ADA 90%

Mr. Cardin was first elected to the Senate in 1987 and his record shows him voting along straight party lines over 95% of the time. Senator Cardin, along with a majority of Democrats, passed the DREAM Act of 2010. The act failed to pass by a super-majority which would prevent a filibuster. This bill allows children of illegal aliens with no criminal record and who have entered the country at age 15 or younger, to pursue citizenship, with the requirement that they attain a college degree or complete two years of military service.

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