While guest-hosting CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Michael Graham asserted as fact that Sen. Barack Obama is "the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate." While The National Journal rated Obama the most liberal senator in 2007, the rankings were based on a subjective selection of Senate votes by the magazine's staff. By contrast, another study based on all non-unanimous votes found Obama to be tied for the 10th most liberal senator in 2007.
On the June 24 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, guest host Michael Graham asserted as fact that Sen. Barack Obama is "the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate." Graham did not give a source for his claim. The National Journal rated Obama the most liberal senator in 2007 in its 2007 Vote Ratings, but, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, based its rankings not on all votes cast by senators in 2007, but on "99 key Senate votes, selected by NJ reporters and editors, to place every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale." By contrast, a study by political science professors Keith Poole and Jeff Lewis that used every non-unanimous vote cast in the Senate in 2007 to determine relative ideology placed Obama in a tie for the ranking of 10th most liberal senator.
In a June 16 PolitiFact.com article analyzing the Journal ratings, St. Petersburg Times Washington bureau chief and PolitiFact editor Bill Adair reported that Journal editor Charles Green "says voters shouldn't rely on a single rating to determine a candidate's ideology," and quoted Green as saying, "There's pluses and minuses to each rating system. If you look at a number of them, I think you have a pretty good picture."
From the June 24 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
GRAHAM: Now, Liz, I've got to ask, Senator Barack Obama, the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, while it may be true that he can roll back the tides, does he have a legitimate shot at picking up significant numbers of Christian voters, regardless of what James Dobson does?
LIZ CHADDERDON (Democratic strategist): You know, Michael, I think he has a really good shot at picking up some of those voters. He did very well in his 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois with downstate white Christian, more evangelical voters. He actually picked up a large percentage.
So, do I think that he's going to win a majority of evangelicals? Of course not. But if he won even 10 percent more or 15 percent more than John Kerry did in 2004, it could be enormous significance for him. So, I absolutely agree that he can pick up some of those voters.