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Ideology scores for the Utah Senate, 2009

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 2009 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 | DD
-90.1 to -80 | D
-80.1 to -70 | 
-70.1 to -60 | 
-60.1 to -50 | D
-50.1 to -40 | DD
-40.1 to -30 | D
-30.1 to -20 | 
-20.1 to -10 | D
  -10.1 to 0 | 
   0.1 to 10 | 
  10.1 to 20 | 
  20.1 to 30 | 
  30.1 to 40 | 
  40.1 to 50 | R
  50.1 to 60 | RRR
  60.1 to 70 | RRRRRRR
  70.1 to 80 | RRR
  80.1 to 90 | RRRR
 90.1 to 100 | RRR

Detailed ideology data

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

Legislator Party Chamber Year Ideology score
Romero, Ross I. D Senate 2009 -92.3
McCoy, Scott D. D Senate 2009 -90.1
Escamilla, Luz Robles D Senate 2009 -80.3
Morgan, Karen W. D Senate 2009 -53.7
Goodfellow, Brent H. D Senate 2009 -47.0
Davis, Gene D Senate 2009 -41.7
Jones, Patricia W. D Senate 2009 -36.7
Mayne, Karen D Senate 2009 -19.2
Hinkins, David P. R Senate 2009 49.2
Van Tassell, Kevin T. R Senate 2009 55.5
Bell, Gregory S. R Senate 2009 56.9
Hillyard, Lyle W. R Senate 2009 59.3
Liljenquist, Daniel R. R Senate 2009 61.8
Urquhart, Stephen H. R Senate 2009 61.9
Knudson, Peter C. R Senate 2009 63.7
Christensen, Allen M. R Senate 2009 64.9
Okerlund, Ralph R Senate 2009 66.0
Niederhauser, Wayne L. R Senate 2009 67.1
Stowell, Dennis E. R Senate 2009 67.1
Killpack, Sheldon L. R Senate 2009 72.4
Bramble, Curtis S. R Senate 2009 73.2
Valentine, John L. R Senate 2009 75.1
Greiner, Jon J. R Senate 2009 81.8
Waddoups, Michael G. R Senate 2009 83.3
Jenkins, Scott K. R Senate 2009 86.8
Buttars, D. Chris R Senate 2009 88.6
Stephenson, Howard A. R Senate 2009 90.3
Dayton, Margaret R Senate 2009 99.0
Madsen, Mark B. R Senate 2009 99.8