The ACU has for years provided some of the most instructive ratings of members of Congress. I personally have been tracking ACU ratings of Congress since the early 1990’s, and since I collect the Almanac of American Politics back issues I have the ratings going all the way back to the early 1970’s.
Ratings for 2016 have yet to be released but curiously in the 2015 ratings, despite a reputation I previously felt was well-earned for conservatism, Gwen Graham representing a GOP-leaning district in the Big Bend and Panhandle regions, Graham’s rating was a surprise. A quick glance at ACU’s 2015 ratings shows Graham with the same score as Rep. Kathy Castor and a less conservative score than liberal-stalwart Rep. Alan Grayson. Graham is expected to be among the growing field of Democrats running for Governor.
The assumption to this point has been that Graham represents the establishment mainstream position, while Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum represents an establishment, progressive position. Potential candidate John Morgan represents an insurgent progressive position while Orlando businessman Chris King, an announced candidate doesn’t register ideologically. Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine isn’t considered by many a top-tier candidate if he chooses to run.
Graham voted with the “conservative” position just twice in 24 scored votes – granted those two (the closing of Guantanamo and the Iran Nuclear Deal) were high-profile pieces of legislation where opposition had ramifications for the ability of the United States to engage in productive diplomacy abroad.
But on domestic issues, Graham’s score was perfect from a liberal perspective based on the ACU’s votes. This is something to ponder no doubt, but inconclusive until we see the 2016 scores.