Eight Democrats Had a Lower Party Unity Score Than Griffith in 2009

Posted January 12, 2010 at 6:26pm

During his year in Congress as a Democrat, party-switching Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) posted a 70 percent party unity score, according to CQ’s 2009 vote study released this week.

That sum is certainly well below the Democratic party average but only good enough for ninth lowest among all Democrats. Among those Democrats who posted lower Democratic unity scores than the House’s newest Republican are Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho), who scored nearly 30 percentage points lower than Griffith at 41 percent, and Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.), who came in at 45 percent.

A party unity score is defined as how often a member went with most of his or her own party against most members of the other party on legislative votes that broke mainly along party lines. The statistic is helpful in sorting out many of the procedural or symbolic votes where most of the House votes the same way.

When it comes to Democratic unity, Griffith ranked just lower than Indiana Rep. Baron P. Hill and just higher than Virginia Rep. Glenn Nye.

Other Democrats who ranked lower than Griffith during the 2009 session when it comes to party unity are Reps. Gene Taylor (Miss.) at 59 percent, Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) at 63 percent, Travis Childers (Miss.) at 63 percent, Heath Shuler (N.C.) at 68 percent, Frank Kratovil (Md.) at 68 percent.