There was a time when the most liberal Republican in the Senate was to the ideological left of the chamber’s most conservative Democrat.
This is not that time. And, judging from the latest bipartisan rankings from CQ Roll Call, we aren’t going back there – for a very long time.
The bipartisan scores, based on how often members of Congress voted with or against their party’s majority in 2020, reveal, well, very little bipartisanship.
That dearth is particularly noticeable among Senate Republicans, where the most bipartisan senator (meaning the highest percentage of votes against the party’s majority) is Maine’s Susan Collins, who voted against the GOP majority 21.6% of the time last year.
After that, only two GOP senators racked up double-digit scores on bipartisanship: Kentucky’s Rand Paul (12.2% of the time voting against the GOP majority) and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski (10.1% of the time).
That’s a striking contrast with the Democratic side of the aisle, where 10 senators have double-digit bipartisan scores. Here’s that list:
Joe Manchin (West Virginia) 38.5%
Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona): 33.1%
Doug Jones (Alabama): 32.2%
Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire): 17.6%
Jon Tester (Montana): 16.2%
Tom Carper (Delaware): 15.5%
Chris Murphy (Connecticut: 15.1%
Mark Warner (Virginia): 14.9%
Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire): 12.1%
Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island): 11.4%
Now, voting against your party’s majority isn’t the only way to measure bipartisanship. And not all votes are equal; voting against your party on some minor piece of legislation is A LOT different from crossing the aisle on, say, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.
But these ratings are an indicator of what anyone who watches politics can see with their own two eyes: Republicans have next to no interest in bucking their own side on almost any vote, largely out of fear of incurring the wrath of former President Donald Trump.
The Point: If bipartisanship isn’t dead, it’s barely hanging on.