Friday, February 22, 2008

Clinton - Obama Senate Votes Comparison

Using the Washington Post Congress Votes Database, I compiled a list of votes that Senators Clinton and Obama disagreed on since January of 2005 when they have both been in the Senate. Also included, is a second sheet containing all votes where both Senators Clinton and Obama voted, with Senator McCain's vote included and information on whether Senator McCain voted along with the Republican Party consensus.

Here is a link to the Google spreadsheet.

I wasn't able to find any broad trends in the votes where Senators Clinton and Obama disagreed. Out of over 900 total votes, they only disagreed on 52. Out of those, Senator Clinton voted against the Democratic party consensus 30 times, compared to 21 times for Senator Obama. Both Senators appeared to agree with Senator McCain at the same rate; on 23 of the split votes, Clinton agreed with McCain 23 times, compared to 22 for Senator Obama. Senator McCain did not vote the other 7 times Clinton and Obama were split.

I have not had time to go through each of the motions to determine the most noteworthy disagreements. The only controversial things that appear obvious to me are Senator Clinton's vote for cloture on reauthorizing the USA Patriot act (Vote 23, 2005) which went against her party. On the other hand, Senator Obama seemed slightly more willing then Senator Clinton to confirm President Bush's nominations. He voted to confirm 4 nominees which she rejected, and for 2 of those nominees Obama went against the Democratic consensus. Much of the rest of their disagreement appears to be on the issues of energy, government transparency, homeland security and immigration. I will try to discern any substantive differences in their positions by looking at the motions and votes in more detail.


Eric said...

Hi! Nice work! I made something recently in a similar vein at:

I will update for march results soon, although i don't think it will be very interesting (lots of no votes...).

Joe said...

Check out for updates stats on Obama vs. McCain Senate voting records for this year.

The detail table can be sorted by clicking on the column headings.