How conservative was your member of Congress in 2016?

By United_States_Capitol_-_west_front.jpg: Architect of the Capitolderivative work: O.J. – United_States_Capitol_-_west_front.jpg, Public Domain,

As I have mentioned many times through the years on this site, a hobby of mine for over two decades has been to study interest group ratings based on the voting record of members of Congress. The American Conservative Union (ACU)  who host the annual CPAC Conference has been rating Congress for 45 years since the days of the ACU used the Americans for Conservative Action (ACA) to rate individual legislative voting record. The ACU which was founded in 1964 around Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign opposed liberal Republicans and became the stimulant on the Reagan movement first in the 1976 Republican primaries and then into the 1980’s.

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 were released last week. Of note, Miami-based Congressman Carlos Curbelo had the second lowest ACU rating for any GOPer (13%) in the entire Congress.  But Curbelo’s rating in 2017 likely will be higher following his surprising vote for the Ryancare “repeal and replace” bill last week. The entire ACU ratings release along with vote explanations can be found here. 

The 2016 and 2015  ratings for each member of the Florida delegation is below – these are taken directly from the ACU site and clicking on associated links will take you directly to voting records:


Member Name 2016 Score 2015 Score Lifetime Rating Years Of Service
Nelson B 4 0 30.67 28
RUBIO M 86 94 95.29 6

Member Name 2016 Score 2015 Score Lifetime Rating Years Of Service
House Representatives
BILIRAKIS G 92 88 86.2 10
Brown C 6 0 7.44 24
BUCHANAN V 72 67 75.3 10
Castor K 0 8 3.8 10
CLAWSON C* 100 96 98 3
CRENSHAW A 76 57 79.88 16
CURBELO C 13 33 22.75 2
DeSANTIS R 100 100 100 4
Deutch T 0 0 2.86 7
DIAZ-BALART M 38 46 64.04 14
Frankel L 4 4 7 4
Graham G 4 8 6 2
Grayson A 4 13 7.67 6
Hastings A 0 4 4.43 24
JOLLY D 50 42 49 3
MICA J 88 83 92.02 24
MILLER J 96 96 94.93 15
Murphy P 4 4 4 3
NUGENT R 74 70 78.61 6
POSEY B 92 92 92.38 8
ROONEY T 77 79 86.03 8
ROS-LEHTINEN I 33 42 67.4 28
ROSS D 88 79 87.17 6
Wasserman-Schultz D 0 0 1.08 12
WEBSTER D 91 88 82.38 6
Wilson F 0 5 3.5 6
YOHO T 96 100 88.96 4


  1. barbara miller · ·

    Is there something comparable in the state legislature? Would like that list.


    1. Yes, we will find them and publish them as well!


    2. Francis · ·

      Hello Barbara and Kartik! We do have ratings for the Florida State Legislature! We have rated the FL State Legislature 7 years in a row. Please feel free to check out 2016’s ratings at the following address:

      Click to access Florida_2016_web.pdf


  2. Gwen Graham has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests.

    Graham was endorsed by the Blue Dog PAC on February 25, 2014.


    1. Rated a 4 same as Alan Grayson. Gwen is a lifelong Democrat that follows her heart and wants to turn Florida Blue. She is the only one that can make it happen.


      1. She had a better liberal score than Grayson in 2015 FWIW. It’s also worth noting she’s got the same rating as Pat Murphy (who was also rated higher by a liberal standard than Grayson or Castor in 2015) than Grayson who many readers of this site were convinced was some sort of closet-GOPer … all that tells me so many don’t look at voting records and simply listen to rhetoric or check one or two votes and then make broad and often incorrect assumptions about ideology. Worse yet, some are so dogmatic and angry about it and then engage in character assassination of those they have assumed to be closet Republicans.


  3. Easy to look at voting records, they’re easily accessible. Harder for many to look at facts and understand what they are looking at. Grayson is not running for Governor, Graham is. And she will be looked at constantly between now and election day. And people are looking deeper and longer. Like it or not, her lack of experience will come up, as well as, her voting record.


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