The Most Conservative and Most Liberal Members of Congress

National Journal unveils their most liberal and most conservative members of Congress.

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Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

While not exactly on par with FBI's 10 Most Wanted list, the venerable National Journal's list of the top 10 conservatives and liberals in Congress is something all Washington waits to see. For some, the object is to be on one or the other of the two lists--which is compiled based on an analysis of congressional votes--while for others the challenge is to miss the list entirely.

According to the vote rankings for 2009:

• The top five Senate liberals are (in order): Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, Illinois Democrat Roland Burris, Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin and Rhode Island Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

• The top five Senate conservatives are: Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint, Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn and Idaho Republican Jim Risch.

• The five most liberal House members are: New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt, Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore, Massachusetts Democrat John Olver, California Democrat Linda Sanchez and Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky.

• The five most conservative House members are Arizona Republican Trent Franks, Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn, Texas Republicans Randy Neugebauer and Pete Olson and Arizona Republican John Shadegg. Oh yeah, right in the middle, Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas (No. 50) and North Dakota's Byron Dorgan (No. 51) and New York Democrat Rep. Michael Arcuri, whose voting record puts him smack dab at No. 218 out of 435. And scoring exactly the same Indiana Sens. Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh who, while from different parties, each had a composite liberal score of 40.7 percent and a composite conservative score of 59.3 percent, which might come in pretty handy if someone decides to run for president in 2012 (against a fellow who was once on of the Senate's top five liberals).

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