Democrats are “Liberal/moderate” rather than simply “liberal” in this Texas Tribune piece on “partisanship” among Texas House members. And, yet, the Republicans are definitely called “conservative,” without any added qualifier.
How partisan does this make Dr. Mark P. Jones (chair of the political science department at Rice University) and the Texas Tribune?
The Tribune has published an interactive chart placing House members on either side of the “Centrist” line, according to their votes and statistics, with ‘0’ being “centrist.” The more negative the number, the more liberal (/moderate)the legislator is and the more positive the number, the more conservative he is. The most conservative Democrat, Tracy King D-Batesville, scores a – 0.63, while 31 – 1/3 – of the Republicans are below 0.50. Another 1/2 of the Republicans hover right around 0.50, and 1/3 are greater than 0.61 or demonstrate the same level of partisanship that the least partisan of the Democrats.
Jones carefully states that none of the Republicans are Liberal, only more “moderate” than others. (more data and charts, here.)
On the other hand, Jones and the Tribune confirm that when politicians are called or urged to be “moderate”by the press and academia, we should understand that we are really talking about becoming more like the left.
(edited 7/9/11 AM to add more data and the graphic, BBN)