A closer look at McCain's ACU Ratings...
Randall Hoven takes a closer look at those ratings and how they fare relative to others in Congress:
Senator John McCain's lifetime rating of 82.3% from the American Conservative Union is often cited as proof that he is conservative. Here is a closer look at that 82.3 rating.I'm with Mr. Reagan in feeling that John McCain doesn't like me much.
First, a rating of 82.3 is not really that high. It puts Senator McCain in 39th place among senators serving in 2006, the latest year for which the ACU has its ratings posted online. For that most recent year in particular, McCain scored only 65, putting him in 47th place for that year. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), for example, scored 64 and 75, respectively, in 2006.
Generally, McCain has voted less conservatively in more recent years. His average for 1990-97 was 88, but was only 74 for 1998-2006. Below are his yearly ratings since 1990.
Year / ACU Rating
2006 - 65
2005 - 80
2004 - 72
2003 - 80
2002 - 72
2001 - 68
2000 - 81
1999 - 77
1998 - 68
1997 - 80
1996 - 95
1995 - 91
1994 - 96
1993 - 83
1992 - 85
1991 - 86
1990 - 87
What this means is that McCain's ACU ratings since 1998 put him on the liberal side among Republicans. The few Republicans consistently more liberal than McCain would be Chafee (formerly R-RI), Collins (R-ME), Snowe (R-ME) and Specter (R-PA). One could expect senators from northeastern states to be more liberal since their constituencies demand it, but McCain represents the fairly conservative state of Arizona. (Arizona's other senator, Kyl, has a lifetime rating of 96.9, and half the representatives from there have ratings of 94.7 or higher.)
How much more liberal would McCain vote if his constituency put even the slightest pressure on him in that direction?
On the other hand, Senator Clinton (D-NY) has a lifetime ACU rating of 9 (83rd place) and Senator Obama (D-IL) has a rating of 8 (86th place).
Also, Thomas Sowell on McCain's straight
The GOP May Regret Raising McCain.