Ratings war: Congressional liberal, conservative rankings conflict

The liberal group Media Matters repeatedly attacked the National Journal during the 2008 presidential campaign for rating then Sen. Barack Obama the most liberal senator the year before. Media Matters complained, “Media figures continue to cite National Journal ranking of Obama as ‘most liberal senator’ without noting subjectivity.”

While announcing the congressional rankings, the National Journal didn’t waste time pointing out possible races they could impact. The magazine posted an article titled, “Facing primary threat, Graham rated 33rd most conservative,” referring to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The National Journal also noted that Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, a likely candidate for retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat, “logs a surprisingly moderate score in vote ratings.” That would be their vote ratings. The ACU gave him a perfect conservative score.

“There could not be a more critical time for conservatives to evaluate America’s leadership and hold them accountable for their actions,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas wrote in the group’s ratings guide overview.

Heritage Action released its own ratings earlier this year. South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, now president-elect of the Heritage Foundation, and Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee tied for the top position, while Paul and Rubio tied for second.

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