Ever since the election of Donald Trump, the United States has seen massive crowds of protesters in numerous localities nationwide, all of whom say that are part of a mass movement to “resist” Trump and what they call his authoritarian and oppressive policies. But which members of congress have been most consistent so far in staging resistance to Trump, and which have actively supported his policies and cabinet nominees?
That question finds an easy answer this week thanks to a new, interactive statistical tool create by the data-journalism site FiveThirtyEight. The site went live early this week with its “Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump” feature, which assigns a “Trump Score” to each member of congress based on the frequency with which they vote in favor of policies and nominees to federal posts proposed by or supported by Trump and his administration.
Already, the tracker has revealed some surprising results, particularly with regard to Democrats who have voted in a manner unexpectedly supportive of Trump and his agenda.
To access the FiveThirtyEight Trump “Resistance” Tracker, click on this link.
The Trump Tracker assigns each member of congress four separate scores, based on how often they have voted against or in favor of legislation and nomination pushed by Trump. Many of the results appear to line up what political observers would expect. Perhaps least surprising, all but three of the 52 Republican Senators have perfect 100 percent “Trump Scores,” meaning they have voted in favor of the Trump agenda in every single case.
Among the GOP contingent, only Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine have voted against Trump at all.
But among Democrats, opposition to Trump has varied far more widely. The tracker’s “Trump Plus-Minus” score measures the difference between how a congress member actually voted against how he or she would be expected to vote. Those expectations are based on how heavily that member’s district voted for or against Trump in the November 8 general election.
The most surprising result in the “Plus-Minus” category comes from California senator Dianne Feinstein, whose state voted heavily in favor of Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton — with only 32.8 percent, fewer than one of every three California voters, casting a ballot for Trump.
Yet Feinstein rates the highest “Trump Plus-Minus” score of any Democrat in the Senate. The 83-year-old, four-term California Senator has voted in favor of the Trump agenda 53.3 percent of the time so far. That’s 22 percentage points higher than her “expected” favorable Trump votes, which according to FiveThirtyEight calculations would be 31.3 percent.
In the House of Representatives, no Democrat has shown more support for Trump, relative to what would be expected based on the makeup of his district, than Henry Cuellar of Texas.
Though Cuellar’s 28th District of Texas elected the 61-year-old overwhelmingly to a sixth two-year term, with 66.2 percent of the vote, and Clinton defeated Trump in Cuellar’s district by nearly 20 percentage points, Cuellar has voted the Trump line in nine of 12 House votes so far.
Based on how his district voted, FiveThirtyEight calculates that Cuellar should have voted with Trump only about 10.5 percent of the time, not 75 percent.
Cuellar has voted in favor of repealing a rule that requires energy companies to reduce waste and emissions, as well another rule that requires energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, among other Trump-supported legislation.
By contrast, Minnesota representative Collin C. Peterson, in that state’s seventh district, represents constituents who voted heavily for Trump, by 61.8 percent to 31 percent for Clinton.
As a result, Peterson’s three votes against Trump out of 10 — with the Minnesota rep not voting on two bills — give him a negative “Plus-Minus” score of -29.8, making him at least so far, a solid member of the anti-Trump “resistance.”
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]