On Candidates’ Voting Records: Yes, But…

By February 17, 2008General

This paragraph from a BusinessWeek article, “Is Obama Good For Business?” keeps turning up in the blogosphere:

Still, business has traditionally preferred Republicans in the White House. In its most recent Senate tally, the Chamber of Commerce gave likely GOP nominee McCain an 80% favorable rating, compared with Clinton at 67% and Obama at 55%. Even worse for the two main Democrats, the National Association of Manufacturers rated both a zero, while McCain garnered 100%.

(Our emphasis.)

True, if you go the 110th Congress, 2007-2008, the NAM voting guide gives these results, based on seven Senate votes so far.

Sen. Hillary Clinton — 0 percent . She disagreed with the NAM’s position on six votes, was absent on the other.
Sen. Barack Obama — 0 percent. He cast the same votes as Clinton, missing the same one.

Sen. John McCain — 100 percent. But that’s based on just one vote. He was absent from the six other votes, no doubt out campaigning.

Seven votes — or one, for that matter — are insufficient to get a good view of a candidate’s record. Therefore, here are the voting records for the previous two Congresses. Obama has only been in the Senate since 2006.

109th Congress — 2005-2006
Sen. Hillary Clinton — 16 percent
Sen. Barack Obama — 16 percent
Sen. John McCain — 63 percent

108th Congress — 2003-2004
Sen. Hillary Clinton — 32 percent
Sen. John McCain — 41 percent

Not so cut and dried.

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