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Ideology scores for the Utah Senate, 2008

Political scientists have developed advanced algorithms that can calculate each legislator's ideology score based on his or her legislative voting record, called a NOMINATE score (it's an acronym, hence the caps). Usually these scores are used to study Congress. They are difficult and time-consuming to calculate, so they are not available for most states. As part of my research, I calculated scores for Utah legislators. Important caveats:

  1. Ideology scores have no scale. There is not a number that means "liberal." Scores only have relative meaning. A lower score is more liberal than a higher score.
  2. Scores are only comparable within a single chamber, within a single year. You cannot compare House scores to Senate scores, and you cannot compare 2010 scores to 2011 scores. (That's because of caveat #1: Scores have no scale.)
  3. Zero does not mean "moderate," it just means "the middle of this group of legislators." Since Utah's legislature is very conservative, the most moderate Utah legislators would seem very conservative on a national scale. Even scores below 0 probably indicate a pretty conservative legislator in these scores.

You can find a thorough discussion of these ideology scores at the Utah data points blog.

The scores below are for 2008 in the Utah Senate. Select a different year here:
House: - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017
Senate: - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017

Distribution of scores

The plot below summarizes how many legislators fall into each score range. There is one "D" for each Democrat in the given range, and one "R" for each Republican. There are 29 legislators in the Utah Senate.

 -100 to -90 | DDDD
-90.1 to -80 | DD
-80.1 to -70 | D
-70.1 to -60 | D
-60.1 to -50 | 
-50.1 to -40 | 
-40.1 to -30 | 
-30.1 to -20 | 
-20.1 to -10 | 
  -10.1 to 0 | RR
   0.1 to 10 | RR
  10.1 to 20 | 
  20.1 to 30 | RRRR
  30.1 to 40 | RRR
  40.1 to 50 | RR
  50.1 to 60 | RRR
  60.1 to 70 | R
  70.1 to 80 | R
  80.1 to 90 | RR
 90.1 to 100 | R

Detailed ideology data

If you use this data in published work, please credit me appropriately.

Legislator Party Chamber Year Ideology score
Davis, Gene D Senate 2008 -97.3
Romero, Ross I. D Senate 2008 -97.1
McCoy, Scott D. D Senate 2008 -92.1
Mayne, Karen D Senate 2008 -90.6
Jones, Patricia W. D Senate 2008 -85.6
Fife, Fred J. D Senate 2008 -84.8
Goodfellow, Brent H. D Senate 2008 -71.3
Dmitrich, Mike D Senate 2008 -69.6
Van Tassell, Kevin T. R Senate 2008 -8.7
Hillyard, Lyle W. R Senate 2008 -4.2
Greiner, Jon J. R Senate 2008 5.4
Knudson, Peter C. R Senate 2008 9.1
Bell, Gregory S. R Senate 2008 22.2
Niederhauser, Wayne L. R Senate 2008 26.5
Walker, Carlene M. R Senate 2008 26.7
Christensen, Allen M. R Senate 2008 26.7
Stowell, Dennis E. R Senate 2008 31.6
Eastman, Dan R. R Senate 2008 31.7
Killpack, Sheldon L. R Senate 2008 32.9
Valentine, John L. R Senate 2008 43.5
Bramble, Curtis S. R Senate 2008 47.5
Waddoups, Michael G. R Senate 2008 50.2
Buttars, D. Chris R Senate 2008 52.9
Hickman, John W. R Senate 2008 53.9
Peterson, Darin G. R Senate 2008 63.8
Jenkins, Scott K. R Senate 2008 70.2
Stephenson, Howard A. R Senate 2008 82.7
Dayton, Margaret R Senate 2008 89.8
Madsen, Mark B. R Senate 2008 92.8