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Ideology scores for the Utah Senate, 2015

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 2015 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 | D
-90.1 to -80 | DD
-80.1 to -70 | 
-70.1 to -60 | 
-60.1 to -50 | DD
-50.1 to -40 | 
-40.1 to -30 | 
-30.1 to -20 | R
-20.1 to -10 | 
  -10.1 to 0 | 
   0.1 to 10 | 
  10.1 to 20 | R
  20.1 to 30 | RRRRR
  30.1 to 40 | RRRRR
  40.1 to 50 | RRR
  50.1 to 60 | RR
  60.1 to 70 | R
  70.1 to 80 | R
  80.1 to 90 | RR
 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
Dabakis, Jim D Senate 2015 -93.0
Escamilla, Luz Robles D Senate 2015 -85.4
Iwamoto, Jani D Senate 2015 -82.0
Mayne, Karen D Senate 2015 -55.5
Davis, Gene D Senate 2015 -55.4
Shiozawa, Brian E. R Senate 2015 -26.7
Weiler, Todd R Senate 2015 18.3
Millner, Ann R Senate 2015 22.5
Okerlund, Ralph R Senate 2015 25.8
Van Tassell, Kevin T. R Senate 2015 29.5
Adams, J. Stuart R Senate 2015 29.5
Bramble, Curtis S. R Senate 2015 29.5
Niederhauser, Wayne L. R Senate 2015 33.0
Vickers, Evan J. R Senate 2015 33.2
Urquhart, Stephen H. R Senate 2015 33.7
Stevenson, Jerry W. R Senate 2015 36.2
Knudson, Peter C. R Senate 2015 37.5
Hinkins, David P. R Senate 2015 40.2
Hillyard, Lyle W. R Senate 2015 43.4
Osmond, Aaron R Senate 2015 47.0
Harper, Wayne A. R Senate 2015 51.4
Thatcher, Daniel W. R Senate 2015 52.8
Jackson, Alvin B. R Senate 2015 68.2
Christensen, Allen M. R Senate 2015 73.4
Jenkins, Scott K. R Senate 2015 81.4
Henderson, Deidre M. R Senate 2015 87.1
Stephenson, Howard A. R Senate 2015 91.4
Madsen, Mark B. R Senate 2015 96.6
Dayton, Margaret R Senate 2015 97.6