Thursday, March 08, 2018

Conservative Performance Index: OK Senate

Following up on my Conservative Performance Index for the Oklahoma State House post this morning, this post compares each state senator's conservative score to their district rating, to add up their Conservative Performance Index.

The conservative rating ('CR' in the spreadsheet) I use is an average of the most recent American Conservative Union scores for Oklahoma legislators, and the Oklahoma Constitution's Conservative Index. Using multiple sources broadens the perspective and scoring system for what I feel is a more accurate picture.

Positive CPI scores indicate that the member's conservative voting outperforms their district's Republican rating (RDR). Negative scores show that the member is more liberal than the district.

One purpose of this system is to illustrate how conservative or liberal a legislator is for their district. As filing for office is coming up next month, this edition of the Conservative Performance Index will be the final version before elections are decided for the upcoming legislative term.

In this post, we'll look at the CPI for State Senate members (the State House CPI can be viewed here).

This year's Senate CPI is more of a mixed bag than the House CPI. The top five Senators (all Republican) stayed about the same or increased their conservative scores, while the freshmen GOP class sunk the overall Republican average by having (with few exceptions) negative to extremely-negative scores.

Top scoring senators this time are Joseph Silk (R-SD5) at +36.1, followed by Nathan Dahm (R-HD33) at +34.3, and Josh Brecheen (R-HD6) at +34.2. Rounding out the top five are Anthony Sykes (HD24) at +29.9, and Mark Allen (SD4) at +29.4. As you can note by comparing the rankings, the top 9 members are the same this time as they were last time, with most changes being one-rank leapfrogging.

Unlike in the State House, no Democrats have positive CPI scores. Anastasia Pittman (D-SD48) tops out the Democratic caucus at -3.2. J.J. Dossett (D-SD34) has the lowest Democrat score at -22.1. The average Democratic CPI is -14.5 (last time was -8.0).

On the Republican side, 25 members (62.5%)  have positive CPI scores, while 15 (37.5%) have negative scores. Of the 13 freshmen, only 2 (15%) had positive scores. That means 11 (85%) of freshmen Republicans had negative ratings.

The average Republican CPI is +3.9 (last time was +15.0). The freshman GOP average is -12.3, while the non-freshman average is +11.8. As with the House, the freshman GOP class is an appalling and unmitigated embarrassment.

The only non-freshmen Republicans with CPI scores below 0 are Ervin Yen (R-SD40) at -5.6, Stephanie Bice (R-SD22) at -5.1, now ex-Sen. Bryce Marlatt (R-SD27) at -5.0, and Ron Sharp (R-SD17) at -4.0. James Leewright (R-SD12; +3.3) and Julie Daniels (R-SD29; +1.8) are the only freshmen Republicans above 0.

The House Democrats outperformed their Senate counterparts, while the Senate GOP scored far better than the House GOP did (although both freshmen Senators and Representatives had a nearly identical average).


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