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Study: Lee The Most Conservative Utah Senator Ever

Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee has been one of the leading voices in the Tea Party movement since he was first elected to the Senate in 2010. His views on a range of issues have often placed him to the right of most of his congressional colleagues. Now, Lee has been rated as the most conservative member of the 113th Senate in a study from Utah Data Points.

The study looks at each senator and assigns each of them a score, with one being the most conservative and negative one being the most liberal. According to Michael Barber, a Brigham Young University political science professor from Utah Data Points, the score is a comparison of senatorial voting records.

“It’s purely based on the vote that legislators cast in office. The comparisons are all just really based on comparing legislators to other legislators,” Barber said. “There isn’t necessarily an absolute standard of what is or is not moderate or liberal or conservative.”

Lee’s score of .991 makes him the most conservative Senator ever from Utah. Barber said that, to find the next most conservative Utah Senator, one must go back to the state’s founding.

“The next closest legislator was actually the first senator who ever served from Utah or one of the first (since there were two), Sen. [Arthur] Brown,” he said. “He served from 1896 to 1897. He had a score of .812. Then, [Rep.] Jason Chaffetz is third with a score of .722.”

The senator with the most liberal score was Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.