Four Members of Congress Have Lifetime ACU Conservative Rating of 100%

By Alex Madajian | April 16, 2019 | 3:55 PM EDT — According to the 48th edition of the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) Ratings of Congress report, Representatives Dave Brat (R-Va.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) have maintained a 100% lifetime conservative rating.

Although 11 other members of Congress also received a 100% rating for 2018, they have not maintained it for their entire careers in Congress. Of those 11, only Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was awarded 100% for both 2017 and 2018.

The ACU rates elected officials by defining conservatism, as detailed in both its report and website, and taking into account their stances on specific types of legislation.


The ACU selects then selects bills that focus on Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of the “three-legged stool” to rate each congressman:

  1. Fiscal and economic: taxes, budgets, regulation, spending, healthcare, and property;
  2. Social and cultural: Second Amendment, religion, life, welfare, and education; and
  3. National security: preserving our nation’s security by maintaining a strong national defense.

The report finds that Democrats are more concentrated to the far left, while Republicans are more ideologically diverse. The Republicans’ average conservative rating was 82% in the Senate and 77% in the House.

In contrast, Democrats’ average conservative rating was 10% in the Senate and 8% in the House.

At 36%, the highest-rated Democrat senator — Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) — had the same rating in 2018 as the lowest-rated Republican senator — Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). In the House for 2018, the highest-rated Democrat was Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) at 40%, while the lowest-rated Republicans, Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), each scored a rating of 24%.

Four members of the last Congress received a 0% conservative rating for 2018:

  • Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.),
  • Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.),
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), and
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)

The most consistent non-conservative voting member of the House of Representatives is Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla). During her 14 years of service, she has received a 1.55% lifetime rating. The most consistent non-conservative member of the Senate is Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who has received a lifetime rating of 1.46% over 12 years of service.

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