Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


2009 Voting Record of Female Republicans in U.S. House Most Conservative in History

Bookmark and Share

Analysis finds National Journal vote rankings of female GOP Representatives set record highs for conservatism in 2009

While the number of Republican female Representatives in the 111th Congress may be at its lowest level over the past decade, those that serve in the U.S. House are voting more conservatively vis-à-vis their peers than at any point in modern legislative history.

To be sure, several Republican women are ranked prominently among the Top 50 most conservative members of the U.S. House in National Journal's latest rankings, based on key votes cast in 2009. Marsha Blackburn (pictured, TN-07) ranks as the most conservative female Representative at #7, followed by Virginia Foxx (NC-05, #19), Michele Bachmann (MN-06, #28), Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL, #34), Sue Myrick (NC-09, #34), Kay Granger (TX-12, #41), and Mary Fallin (OK-05, #42).

The votes cast by these and the 10 remaining female GOPers in the House made history last year.

A Smart Politics analysis of 29 years of National Journal ideological vote rankings finds that the female Republican members of the U.S. House in 2009 notched both the highest composite conservative score on record and the highest conservative scores for key votes on economic and social policy legislation.

Moreover, the current group of Republican women in the U.S. House are continuing a half-decade long trend which finds them ranking more and more conservative as a group - GOP women are now voting more conservatively than 77 percent of the House as a whole.

In 2009, Republican women as a bloc voted more conservatively than 77.4 percent of the U.S. House as a whole on economic, social, and foreign policy issues. This number has risen steadily since 2004.

In that year, the 21 GOP Representatives voted more conservatively than 68.7 percent of the House as a whole, rising to 70.9 percent in 2005, 72.8 percent in 2006, 74.1 percent in 2007, and 74.9 percent in 2008.

By comparison, when National Journal began its annual ideological vote tracking in 1981, the 10 female Republican Representatives in office that year voted more conservatively than just 54.9 percent of the House as a whole.

Republican women notched their most conservative voting record relative to their peers to date in 2009 on both economic issues (voting more conservative than 77.8 percent of the House) and on social policy (76.0 percent).

Key votes cast by female GOPers on foreign policy issues were the fourth most conservative on record in 2009 (70.2), behind 2008 (75.0), 2006 (74.3), and 2003 (70.5).

This conservatism by Republican women in the U.S. House continues what has been a pattern over the past half decade: female GOPers ranking more and more conservative as a group relative to the House as a whole.

In 2004, female Republican Representatives had an average conservative ranking of 137. In other words, they collectively voted more conservatively than approximately 69 percent of the 435-member body. That number rose to an average conservatism ranking of 127 in 2005, 116 in 2006, 109 in 2007, and 108 in 2008.

By 2009, the 17 Republican women in office had an average conservative ranking of 97 - 40 slots higher than they did just five years prior. That means female GOP Representatives as a collective voted more conservatively than approximately 77 percent of the House as a whole last year.

Average Conservative Ranking for Female Republican U.S. Representatives, 2004-2009

Year
Average rank
2004
137
2005
127
2006
116
2007
109
2008
108
2009
97
National Journal data compiled by Smart Politics.

Several factors have contributed to the greater conservative 'purity' of the female Republicans in the U.S. House in recent years.

First, new Republicans have been elected to the body during the last few years who have clearly marked out very conservative territory in their voting record, such as Michele Bachmann (MN-06) and Mary Fallin (OK-05).

But more veteran Republican women of the House also began voting more conservatively relative to their peers. For example, former New Mexico Representative Heather Wilson was ranked the 222nd most conservative member of the House in 2005. Her conservative ranking rose to 214 in 2006, 148 in 2007, and 113 in her last year in office, 2008.

A third factor has been the departure from the U.S. House of more moderate (frequently Northeastern) Republican female Representatives during the last few years, such as former Representatives Nancy Johnson (CT-05), Sue Kelly (NY-19), and Deborah Pryce (OH-15). All three of these women frequently ranked at approximately the 200th most conservative member of the House.

Combined, these factors have helped transform the voting record of female GOPers such that in 2004, 10 of the 21 Republican women in the US House had an overall conservative ranking of #150+. In 2009, just 6 of the 17 GOP women were ranked at #150+, with 7 in the Top 50.

The rise in conservative voting by Republican women across the last three decades has been evident in all three of the general issue areas tracked by National Journal - particularly in social and foreign policy.

From 1981 to 1990, GOP women voted more conservatively than 55.6 percent of the House on social policy legislation. That number increased to 57.2 percent from 1991-2000 and then rose substantially to 67.3 percent from 2001-2009.

A more conservative foreign policy voting record has also been tracked across the decades. Republican women voted more conservatively than 56.1 percent of the House as a whole from 1981-1990, than 65.1 percent from 1991-2000, and 69.9 percent from 2001-2009.

Economic policy has seen the least dramatic shift. Republican women voted more conservatively than 67.4 percent of the House from 1981-1990, than 66.2 percent from 1991-2000, and 71.8 percent from 2001-2009.

Female Republican U.S. Representative Conservatism Ratings by Issue by Decade

Years
Economic
Social
Foreign
Composite
1981-1990
67.4
55.6
56.1
61.1
1991-2000
66.2
57.2
65.1
65.0
2001-2009
71.8
67.3
69.9
71.6
National Journal vote data compiled by Smart Politics. Data indicates the percentage of Representatives of which female GOPers are more conservative by issue.

Overall, the number of Republican women in the U.S. House is at a decade-long low. At just 17 members in 2009, the number of female GOPers has declined 32 percent from 2006, when 25 Republican women served in the House.

The number of female Republicans in the House had risen gradually from 16 in 1997, to 17 in 1998, to 18 in 2001, to 21 in 2003, to 23 in 2005, to 25 in 2006. That number dropped quickly to 21 in 2007 after the previous November's election.

Female Republican U.S. Representative Conservatism Ratings by Issue, 1981-2009

Year
Economic
Social
Foreign
Composite
#
1981
65.5
51.1
45.1
54.9
10
1982
58.3
49.7
48.6
53.4
10
1983
75.0
58.3
57.7
65.1
9
1984
67.6
59.1
58.4
63.5
9
1985
70.5
51.1
57.9
62.6
11
1986
73.5
59.8
61.0
66.8
11
1987
66.8
60.9
58.3
63.0
11
1988
64.0
54.2
57.3
59.2
11
1989
67.3
53.5
58.3
60.8
12
1990
65.2
57.8
59.3
61.8
13
1991
66.3
58.8
61.8
63.3
9
1992
70.7
57.2
60.9
65.1
9
1993
58.8
50.2
61.7
59.0
12
1994
66.5
62.3
67.6
67.0
12
1995
64.2
56.9
68.0
67.6
17
1996
66.2
53.2
66.6
65.2
17
1997
66.9
60.2
68.0
66.9
16
1998
64.2
61.7
68.2
66.0
17
1999
69.1
56.5
63.0
64.5
17
2000
69.4
54.9
65.3
65.3
17
2001
67.6
57.6
69.2
66.8
18
2002
68.9
57.1
66.4
66.9
18
2003
72.4
66.4
70.5
71.5
21
2004
68.5
66.3
68.4
68.7
21
2005
72.3
68.0
68.7
70.9
23
2006
69.1
71.1
74.3
72.8
25
2007
75.6
72.1
66.8
74.1
21
2008
74.4
71.5
75.0
74.9
20
2009
77.8
76.0
70.2
77.4
17
National Journal vote data compiled by Smart Politics. Data indicates the percentage of Representatives of which female GOPers are more conservative by issue.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Kalin Announcement Opens Up Ripe Opportunity in HD 17B for GOP in 2010
Next post: Tim Pawlenty Job Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low

1 Comment


  • I feel educated lol

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

    Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

    Political Crumbs

    Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

    Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


    Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

    Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting