Menu Adam R Brown

Return to the Guide to the Utah Legislature.

Ideology scores for the Utah Senate, 2010

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 2010 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 | DDD
-90.1 to -80 | D
-80.1 to -70 | D
-70.1 to -60 | DDD
-60.1 to -50 | 
-50.1 to -40 | 
-40.1 to -30 | 
-30.1 to -20 | 
-20.1 to -10 | 
  -10.1 to 0 | 
   0.1 to 10 | 
  10.1 to 20 | 
  20.1 to 30 | 
  30.1 to 40 | 
  40.1 to 50 | RRRR
  50.1 to 60 | RRR
  60.1 to 70 | RRRRR
  70.1 to 80 | RR
  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 2010 -100.0
McAdams, Benjamin M. D Senate 2010 -98.9
Escamilla, Luz Robles D Senate 2010 -91.6
Goodfellow, Brent H. D Senate 2010 -83.4
Davis, Gene D Senate 2010 -76.3
Mayne, Karen D Senate 2010 -67.7
Jones, Patricia W. D Senate 2010 -63.4
Morgan, Karen W. D Senate 2010 -61.6
Van Tassell, Kevin T. R Senate 2010 45.0
Hillyard, Lyle W. R Senate 2010 45.7
Liljenquist, Daniel R. R Senate 2010 47.2
Christensen, Allen M. R Senate 2010 49.3
Knudson, Peter C. R Senate 2010 54.0
Okerlund, Ralph R Senate 2010 57.2
Bramble, Curtis S. R Senate 2010 59.3
Niederhauser, Wayne L. R Senate 2010 62.3
Stevenson, Jerry W. R Senate 2010 63.1
Hinkins, David P. R Senate 2010 66.1
Urquhart, Stephen H. R Senate 2010 68.3
Valentine, John L. R Senate 2010 68.6
Adams, J. Stuart R Senate 2010 71.5
Greiner, Jon J. R Senate 2010 75.5
Waddoups, Michael G. R Senate 2010 80.3
Buttars, D. Chris R Senate 2010 84.6
Jenkins, Scott K. R Senate 2010 85.4
Madsen, Mark B. R Senate 2010 87.3
Stowell, Dennis E. R Senate 2010 91.0
Stephenson, Howard A. R Senate 2010 95.1
Dayton, Margaret R Senate 2010 97.5