February 16, 2010
McCain and Hayworth: Tale of the TapeBy Randall Hoven
[Editor's note: See also McCain's KFYI Interview]
Who is more conservative -- John McCain, or his primary rival, J.D. Hayworth? Hayworth officially announced his candidacy for the Senate on Monday. The Arizona Republic reported that
Both men have served in Congress for multiple terms. J.D. Hayworth was in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007. Their voting records have been scored. So who is more conservative?
The most recent online scores from the American Conservative Union are from 2008. In that year, John McCain scored 63 and had a lifetime average of 81.43. (All scores reported here are on a scale of zero to 100, with 100 being perfectly conservative according to the scorer.) His lifetime average put him in 32nd place in the 2008 Senate, or in the top 32%.
J.D. Hayworth's last full year in Congress was 2006. His 2006 ACU score was 96, his 2005 score was 100, and his lifetime average was 97.56. His lifetime average put him in 16th place in the 2006 House, or in the top 4%.
Congressmen are also scored by the National Journal. McCain did not have enough votes in either 2007 or 2008 to qualify for a score. In 2006, his composite conservative score was 56.7, putting him in 46th place, or the top 46%. Only nine of 55 Republicans scored lower than McCain, including Arlen Specter, who later joined the Democratic Party, and Lincoln Chafee, who retired from the Senate and endorsed Barack Obama for president. McCain's economic, social, and foreign scores were 64, 46, and 58, respectively. His economic score was 36th-most conservative, his highest ranking in any category that year.
The National Journal gave Hayworth a 2006 composite score of 85, putting him in 46th place, or the top 11%. His economic, social, and foreign scores were 80, 94, and 73, respectively. His economic score was 84th-most conservative, or in the top 20%.
The table below summarizes these standings.
In other comparisons, Hayworth was more conservative than Duncan Hunter in 2006, according to the National Journal. He was more economically conservative than Hunter, Dan Burton, and Mike Pence. He was more conservative on foreign issues than Henry Hyde.
Here are some of John McCain's major accomplishments in the Senate.
Here are some things McCain said in 2008 when he was running for president.
Here are things J. D. Hayworth has said that appear most contradictory to McCain's stances.
McCain, the "maverick," has been in Congress for 28 years, or since winning his first election in 1982. He is no longer fighting the establishment; he is the establishment. He personifies the compromise wing of the Republican Party, which has since become the dominant wing.
Hayworth represents the 1994 Contract With America Republicans. He first entered Congress in that historic turnaround, the first time Republicans took the majority of the House since 1952. He was voted out in 2006 when the House turned Democrat again on a referendum on Iraq, and the last time the unemployment rate was below 4.5%.
Iraq now seems to be behind us. And so does an unemployment rate below 9%...no thanks to the 2006 and 2008 elections.
This Arizona primary election can be put in simple terms. Do Republicans want more compromise with Democrats and "bipartisanship," or would they rather take the Ronald Reagan approach: We win, they lose?