With the 2022 Virginia General Assembly session concluded, we can now look at statistics in a variety of areas, including “Party Unity in Floor Votes,” courtesy of VPAP. See below for the party unity distributions for House Democrats, Senate Democrats, House Republicans and Senate Republicans. Also, see below the graphics for a few examples of specific/detailed things that jumped out at me…including some surprises. But first, here are a few top-line numbers. Also, as you look through these statistics, keep in mind that these are just FLOOR votes, so by definition these are bills that made it out of committees. Also keep in mind that a lot of extreme bills were killed by Senate Democrats…meaning that very few if any extreme bills made it to the Senate floor.
- Only four House Democrats out of 48 scored below 80% when it comes to “Party Unity in Floor Votes.” The lowest score was by Del. Cia Price (72.5%), followed by Del. Candi King (76.6%), Del. Marcus Simon (77.0%) and Del. Dawn Adams (78.4%). The highest unity score was by House Democratic Leader Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (97.7%), followed by first-term Del. Brianna Sewell (97.3%), Del. Luke Torian (96.8%), first-term Del. Michelle Maldonado (96.8%), Del. Patrick Hope (96.4%), Del. Paul Krizek (96.4%) and Del. Mark Keam (96.4%)
- Only three Senate Democrats out of 21 scored below 80% when it coms to “Party Unity in Floor Votes.” Those three were Sen. Creigh Deeds (73.4%), Sen. Scott Surovell (78.7%) and Sen. Jeremy McPike (79.3%). Somewhat surprisingly, Sen. Chap Petersen – who has a reputation for being a maverick and a relatively conservative Democrat – was at 80.6%, right behind Sen. Adam Ebbin (81.3%) and Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (83.6%), both liberal Democrats. At the top of the “unity” scores were Sen. Dave Marsden (98.4%), Sen. George Barker (96.1%), Sen. Monty Mason (somewhat surprisingly at 95.3%, given that he’s in a “purple” district and is often viewed as relatively conservative), Majority Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (94.5%), Sen. John Bell (again, a bit surprisingly, at 93.8%) and Sen. Louise Lucas (92.2%).
- Only eight House Republicans out of 52 scored below 80% when it comes to “Party Unity in Floor Votes.” The lowest score was by right-wing Del. Nick Freitas (R), who was at just 60.0%, followed by hard-core right winger Del. Marie March (66.8%), Del. Phillip Scott at 69.8%, Del. Michael Webert at 70.9% and far-right Del. Dave LaRock at 72.3%. Speaker Gilbert scored just 80.4%, while Majority Leader Terry Kilgore scored 91.8%.
- Only five Senate Republicans out of 19 scored below 80% when it comes to “Party Unity in Floor Votes.” The lowest score was by Sen. Emmett Hanger (69.1%), followed by Sen. Dave Suetterlein (77.1%), far-right Sen. Amanda Chase (77.9%), Sen. Jill Vogel (78.5%) and Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (79.4%). Scoring at the top was Sen. Bryce Reeves (92.5%), followed by Sen. Todd Pillion (91.6%), Sen. Frank Ruff (91.2%), Sen. John Cosgrove (90.3%), Sen. Steve Newman 89.6%), Sen. Mark Peake (89.4%), Sen. Bill Stanley (88.2%), etc. Minority Leader Sen. Tommy Norment clocked in at a score of 86.0% “Party Unity in Floor Votes.”
- Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) earned an overall 73.4% “party unity in floor votes” score, but there was wide variability, with a whopping 94% score on “Courts” issues and an 83% score on “Education” issues.
- Sen. Chap Petersen (D) earned an overall 80.6% “party unity in floor votes” score, with his highest-profile difference with the party on HB1272/SB739 (requires in-person instruction and makes masks optional in schools).
- Sen. Emmett Hanger (R) earned an overall 69.1% “party unity in floor votes” score, with only a 55% score on “Courts” issues, a 61% score on “Public Safety” issues, a 62% score on “Natural Resources” issues, up to an 80% score on “Government” issues and an 81% score on “Social Issues.”
- Sen. Amanda Chase (R) earned an overall 77.9% “party unity in floor votes” score, with a 93% score on “Health Care” issues, a 92% score on “Public Safety” issues, but only a 56% score on “Social Issues.”
- Del. Cia Price (D) earned an overall 72.5% “party unity in floor votes,” ranging from 57% on “Health Care” issues up to 96% on “Natural Resoures” issues.
- Del. Marcus Simon (D) earned an overall 77.0% “party unity in floor votes,” ranging from just 53% on “Taxation” issues to 92% on “Social Issues.”
- Del. Nick Freitas (R) earned an overall 60.0% “party unity in floor votes” score, ranging from just 44% on “Business/Commerce” issues up to 79% on “Social Issues.”
What jumped out at you? This was just a quick/cursory look at the statistics; I’m sure there’s a LOT more interesting information in there!