National Journal: Congress more polarized than ever

Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone following events in Washington, but National Journal’s new 2010 vote ratings finds Congress more polarized than at any time in the last three decades.

For only the second time since 1982–the first was 1999–every Democrat in the Senate compiled a voting record more liberal than the most liberal Republican, and every Republican voted more conservatively than the most conservative Democrat. By comparison, in 1982 there were 35 Democrats with more conservative voting records than Connecticut’s Lowell P. Weicker, the most liberal Republican, and 23 Republicans with more liberal records than the most conservative Democrat, Edward Zorinsky of Nebraska.

On the House side, membership is even more polarized than in 1999, National Journal says. Only five Republicans and four Democrats compiled records in the middle ground between the most liberal Republican and the most conservative Democrat.

In Connecticut’s all-Democratic delegation, Rep. John Larson of the 1st District compiled the most liberal voting record in the House, ranking 12th overall. He was followed by Rosa DeLauro of the 3rd (44th most liberal), Chris Murphy of the 5th (140th), Joe Courtney of the 2nd (172nd) and Jim Himes of the 4th (200th).

In the Senate, now-retired Sen. Chris Dodd was ranked the 30th most liberal, and Joe Lieberman 42nd most conservative.