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. Here I use the W-NOMINATE method (it's an acronym, hence the caps). Important caveats:

  1. Ideology scores have no scale. There is not a number that means "liberal" or "conservative." Scores have only relative meaning, so that a lower score indicates a more liberal voting record 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 2018 scores to 2019 scores. (That's because of caveat #1: Scores have no scale.)
  3. Scores reflect what comes to the floor. In a supermajority Republican Legislature, most fights are between moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans, not between Republicans and Democrats. Thus, scores calculated from votes in the Utah Legislature will reveal more daylight among Republicans than among Democrats.
  4. Zero does not mean "moderate," it just means "the middle of this group of legislators." See the preceding point. Also, "moderate" Utah Republican legislators are usually pretty conservative on a national scale.
  5. Scores close to 100 are not "most loyal Republicans." Even calling these "most conservative" would be very misleading, since it implies these legislators come closest to some conservative standard. Utah is a very conservative state, and a legislator near the middle of this particular Republican pack is likewise very conservative. Scores near 100 indicate Republicans at the extreme end of the scale, who are to the right of even most Republicans, and perhaps well to the right of the Republican party platform.

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 - 2018 - 2019
Senate: - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019

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