John McCain Rated

I am friends with many of the people who work for the political consulting company EchoDitto. They recently asked their CEO to take a leave of absence after he announced on his personal blog he would support U.S. Senator John McCain if he ran for president in 2008. Their actions kicked off a long comment thread about whether it was the right thing to do, whether the CEO was a “traitor,” or if the decision was an unfair “knee-jerk” reaction.

Although I don’t think McCain has a good chance of becoming president in 2008, because he has such a high profile I thought I would look up some information about his Senate votes. To get some quick information I looked up his interest group ratings page on Project Vote Smart to see what the groups I like — and don’t like — thought of him. These ratings can be problematic, because they can sometimes only include a few votes and senators vote for or against bills for plenty of reasons, but I thought it would be a good starting point. Unless otherwise noted, these ratings are for 2005. The higher the percentage, the more he agrees with the groups’ views on selected votes:

NOW: 0%
National Trust for Historic Preservation: 0% (2005 and 2004)
Gun Owners of America: 0%
NEA: 0% (2005), 35% (2004), 45% (2003)
AFL-CIO: 14%
ACLU: 22% (2004)
SEIU: 23%
League of Conservation Voters: 45%
National Right to Life Committee: 82% (2004)
Americans for Tax Reform (Grover Norquist’s group): 90%
John Birch Society Conservative Index: 90% (2004)

Project Vote Smart also reports that “According to the National Journal – Composite Conservative Score’s calculations, in 2003, Senator McCain voted more conservative on economic, defense and foreign policy issues than 62 percent of the Senators.”

Author: Rob Goodspeed