Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Why Mark Kirk Is The Most Liberal Republican Senator

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mark Kirk is the most liberal Republican senator. He voted to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and endorsed same-sex marriage. He was one of four Republicans to vote to break a filibuster on the background check bill, and is the only member of his party to favor President Obama’s proposed assault weapons ban.

    The reason? No Republican represents a more liberal state than Kirk. As you can see from this chart below, Illinois voted for Obama in greater proportion than any other state with a Republican senator. The only senator even close is Susan Collins of Maine, whose voting record is similar to Kirk’s. Collins voted to repeal DOMA and to break the background check filibuster.  
    Mark Kirk, Illinois 57.3 percent
    Susan Collins, Maine, 56.3 percent
    Ron Johnson, Wisconsin, 52.8 percent
    Dean Heller, Nevada, 52.3 percent
    Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire, 52.2 percent
    Chuck Grassley, Iowa, 52.1 percent
    Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania, 52 percent
    Rob Portman, Ohio, 50.1 percent
    Marco Rubio, Florida, 50 percent
    And here’s a list of Democrats representing states that voted for Romney. All four Democrats who voted to sustain the filibuster on the background check bill are in this list -- Max Baucus (who announced he's retiring), Mark Pryor, Mark Begich and Heidi Heitkamp. So are the three Democrats who oppose gay marriage -- Mary Landrieu, David Pryor and Joe Manchin.
    Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia, 62.3 percent
    Joe Manchin, West Virginia, 62.3 percent
    David Pryor, Arkansas 60.7 percent
    Kent Conrad, North Dakota, 58.7 percent
    Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota, 58.7 percent
    Tim Johnson, South Dakota, 57.9 percent
    Mary Landrieu, Louisiana, 57.8 percent
    Mark Begich, Alaska, 55.3 percent
    Max Baucus, Montana, 55.3 percent
    Jon Tester, Montana, 55.3 percent
    Joe Donnelly, Indiana, 54.3 percent
    Claire McCaskill, Missouri, 53.7 percent