Home General Assembly 2024 VAPLAN Virginia Legislative Progressive Scorecard: Sen. Jennifer Carroll Foy #1 in...

2024 VAPLAN Virginia Legislative Progressive Scorecard: Sen. Jennifer Carroll Foy #1 in the State Senate, Del. Rae Cousins #1 in the House of Delegates

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by Cindy, cross posted from VAPLAN

It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for SEVEN YEARS already, but it’s true, this is our 7th annual VAPLAN scorecard. Congratulations to freshman Del. Rae Cousins and Sen. Jennifer Carroll Foy for coming out on top this year, and thank you for your stellar voting records!

Methodology and caveats

We continue to follow the same methodology as in previous years, assigning a positive point for every vote (or co-sponsorship) that agrees with what we consider the progressive position, a negative point for every vote (or co-sponsorship) that disagrees with that position, and then adjusting for the number of possible votes an individual legislator had the opportunity to take. The last vote cast on a bill is the one that counts, and if someone misses that final vote, we look backward for a prior chance to vote.

A few caveats:

  • No scorecard of this nature is perfect. There is a lot of “art” that accompanies whatever science there is to making a scorecard.
  • One of the biggest sources of “art” is what bills we include or don’t. Our general policy is to look for bills that have an obvious ideological slant, especially ones that don’t result in exact party-line votes. We mostly avoid bills related to gambling, alcohol, locality-specific projects, and anything that was highly politicized or part of some weird bargaining strategy. (We are utterly indebted to the folks at Recorded Vote Virginia without whose site we would have a much harder job finding bills on the clunky LIS site.)
  • While floor votes are the most definitive (signaling a willingness for this to become law), too much happens at the committee level, especially on bills meeting their death, to restrict ourselves to the floor.
  • As a result of including committee votes, there is a bias to the final scores based on the committee assignments of each legislator. We minimize this as much as possible by scaling the score by the legislator’s number of possible votes and by taking bills from as many committees and subcommittees as possible, but bias remains.
  • It bears mentioning that legislators behave very differently when their party is in the majority than when they’re in the minority (as well as depending on the party of the Governor). It is quite noticeable in the voting records–for example the House Democrats’ voting was very tightly aligned this year, much more so than the past two years.
  • They also behave differently when they are expecting or in the midst of a primary, or are running for higher office. It’s fun to look for these features.

The Top 10 Most Progressive:

House of Delegates

  • Rae Cousins (HD79)
  • Nadarius Clark (HD84)
  • Irene Shin (HD8)
  • Rozia Henson (HD19)
  • Holly Seibold (HD12)
  • Joshua Cole (HD65)
  • Kelly Convirs-Fowler (HD96)
  • Kannan Srinivasan (HD26)
  • David Reid (HD28)
  • Katrina Callsen (HD54)

Senate

  • Jennifer Carroll Foy (SD33)
  • Ghazala Hashmi (SD15)
  • Jennifer Boysko (SD38)
  • Lashrecse Aird (SD13)
  • Barbara Favola (SD40)
  • Suhas Subramanyam (SD32)
  • Stella Pekarsky (SD36)
  • Creigh Deeds (SD11)
  • Saddam Azlan Salim (SD37)
  • Scott Surovell (SD34)

The Top 10 Closest to Middle:

House of Delegates

  • Shelly Simonds (D-HD70)
  • Michael Feggans (D-HD97)
  • Karrie Delaney (D-HD9)
  • Jackie Glass (D-HD93)
  • David Bulova (D-HD11)
  • Carrie Coyner (R-HD75)
  • Robert Bloxom (R-HD100)
  • David Owen (R-HD57)
  • Kim Taylor (R-HD82)
  • Chris Obenshain (R-HD41)

Senate

  • Jeremy McPike (D-SD29)
  • Angelia Williams Graves (D-SD21)
  • Russet Perry (D-SD31)
  • Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-SD16)
  • Dave Marsden (D-SD35)
  • David Suetterlein (R-SD4)
  • Danny Diggs (R-SD24)
  • Richard Stuart (R-SD25)
  • Mark Peake (R-SD8)
  • Todd Pillion (R-SD6)

The Most Extreme Bottom 10:

House of Delegates

  • Tie: Delores Oates (HD31)
    • Thomas Wright (HD50)
  • Chris Runion (HD35)
  • Wendell Walker (HD52)
  • Tom Garrett (HD56)
  • Tim Griffin (HD53)
  • Scott Wyatt (HD60)
  • Nick Freitas (HD62)
  • Todd Gilbert (HD33)
  • Phillip Scott (HD63)
  • Eric Zehr (HD51)

Senate

  • Timmy French (SD1)
  • Glen Sturtevant (SD12)
  • Ryan McDougle (SD26)
  • Emily Jordan (SD17)
  • Mark Obenshain (SD2)
  • Bryce Reeves (SD28)
  • Christie New Craig (SD19)
  • Chris Head (SD3)
  • Bill DeSteph (SD20)
  • John McGuire (SD10)

Links to current and past scorecards:

  • This year’s full scorecard can be found at this link.
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