The Rockefeller Republicans

While opposition to FDR had started out based in the Northeast, after World War II more and more Republicans from this region were inclined to compromise with liberal Democrats on domestic and foreign policy. One of the central examples of this is Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., who when he was first elected to the Senate voted a mostly anti-New Deal line. However, the first signs of his budding moderation came shortly before the start of America’s involvement in World War II when he voted for Lend Lease. Lodge, as I have written about before, was the leading proponent of the Eisenhower presidency. Below is a list of liberal to moderate Republicans who served since the end of World War II.

CALIFORNIA

Senators

Thomas Kuchel, 1953-69.

Representatives

Richard J. Welch, 1926-49.

John F. Baldwin Jr., 1955-66.

Pete McCloskey, 1968-83.

Alphonzo Bell, 1961-77.

Steven Kuykendall, 1999-2001.

Steve Horn, 1993-2003.

CONNECTICUT

Representatives

Clare Boothe Luce, 1943-47. – Although Clare Boothe Luce has a conservative reputation and was a staunch anti-communist, she was actually quite moderate during her four years in Congress.

John Davis Lodge, 1947-51.

Abner W. Sibal, 1961-65.

Stewart B. McKinney, 1971-87. – First member of Congress to die of AIDS.

Horace Seely-Brown, 1947-49, 1951-59, 1961-63.

Ronald Sarasin, 1973-79.

Lawrence DeNardis, 1981-83.

Robert H. Steele, 1970-75.

Nancy Johnson, 1983-2007.

Christopher Shays, 1987-2009.

Rob Simmons, 2001-07.

Edwin H. May, 1957-59.

Albert P. Morano, 1951-59.

James Patterson, 1947-59.

Senators

Raymond E. Baldwin, 1946-49.

Prescott Bush, 1952-63. – Prescott Bush was what you would think of when you think Eisenhower Republican – Conservative on fiscal and economic issues and liberal on foreign aid and social issues. Bush served two terms before retiring in 1963. Also, of course, father of President George H.W. Bush.

William A. Purtell, 1952-59.

Lowell P. Weicker Jr., 1969-71, 1971-89. – Weicker stands as the last Republican senator from Connectictut, serving from 1971 to 1989. Although he started as a moderate, his record grew more and more liberal after Watergate. Republicans by 1988 had grown so sick of him as one of the leading anti-Reagan Republicans that many voted for Democrat Joe Lieberman, who won the election.

DELAWARE

Representatives

Pierre Du Pont, 1971-77.

Michael Castle, 1993-2011.

FLORIDA

Representatives

James W. Grant, 1987-91. – Switched to Republican in second term.

Carlos Curbelo, 2015-19.

David W. Jolly, 2014-17.

HAWAII

Senators

Hiram Fong, 1959-77.

Representatives

Pat Saiki, 1987-91.

Charles Djou, 2010-11.

IDAHO

Representatives

Orval Hansen, 1969-75. – 55%

ILLINOIS

Senators

Charles Percy, 1967-85.

Mark Kirk, 2001-10, 2010-17.

Representatives

Samuel H. Young, 1973-75.

John B. Anderson, 1961-81.

Thomas Railsback, 1967-83.

Jon E. Porter, 1980-2001.

Bob Dold, 2011-13, 2015-17.

IOWA

Representatives

Fred Schwengel, 1955-65, 1967-73.

Jim Leach, 1977-2007.

Thomas Tauke, 1979-91.

T. Cooper Evans, 1981-87.

KANSAS

Senators

James B. Pearson, 1962-78. – Yes, even as far in Republican heartland as Kansas Rockefeller Republicans existed! Pearson started his career somewhat conservative and grew more liberal during the Nixon Administration. He participated in the Wednesday Club, a group of moderate to liberal Republicans.

Nancy Kassebaum, 1978-97. – The daughter of presidential candidate Alf Landon, she, like him, was a moderate and this was reflected in her Senate voting record.

KENTUCKY

Senators

John Sherman Cooper, 1946-49, 1952-55, 1956-73.

Thruston B. Morton, 1947-53, 1957-68.

Marlow W. Cook, 1968-74.

Representatives

John M. Robsion Jr., 1953-59.

LOUISIANA

Anh Cao, 2009-11.

MAINE

Senators

Margaret Chase Smith, 1940-49, 1949-73. – I covered her in my last post.

Olympia Snowe, 1979-95, 1995-2013.

Susan Collins, 1997-present.

William Cohen, 1973-79, 1979-97.

Representatives

Stanley Tupper, 1961-67.

David F. Emery, 1975-83.

John McKernan, 1983-87.

MARYLAND

Senators

Charles Mathias, 1961-69, 1969-87. – Quickly developed a liberal reputation in the 1960s that helped win him a Senate seat in 1968, that and incumbent Daniel Brewster’s corruption scandal.

J. Glenn Beall, Jr., 1969-71, 1971-77.

Representatives

Gilbert Gude, 1967-77.

Newton Steers, 1977-79.

Constance Morella, 1987-2003.

Wayne Gilchrest, 1991-2009.

MASSACHUSETTS

Senators

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., 1937-43, 1947-53.

Leverett Saltonstall, 1945-67.

Edward W. Brooke, 1967-79.

Scott Brown, 2010-13.

Representatives

John W. Heselton, 1945-59.

Hastings Keith, 1959-73.

Silvio O. Conte, 1959-91. – One of the longest standing Rockfeller Republicans from the state, he moved from moderate to liberal in his career, but in his later liberal phase he still had a few issues one might consider him conservative on: he was resolutely pro-life as a Catholic and was a firm opponent of pork barrel legislation. Notably, he was one of three House Republicans to vote against the Gulf War in 1991, which he did right before his death.

Margaret Heckler, 1967-83.

Frank B. Morse, 1961-72.

Paul W. Cronin, 1973-75.

Peter G. Torklidsen, 1993-97.

Peter I. Blute, 1993-97.

MICHIGAN

Representatives

Donald W. Riegle Jr., 1967-77, 1977-95. – Initially elected as a moderate to the House, Riegle moved more and more leftward until he officially switched parties in 1973. His move into the Democratic Party proved quite good for his political career as he was elected to the Senate in 1976, and served for eighteen years, retiring due to his role in the Keating Five scandal.

John B. Bennett, 1943-45, 1947-64.

Robert J. McIntosh, 1957-59.

Marvin L. Esch, 1967-77.

Garry Brown, 1967-79.

Philip Ruppe, 1967-79.

Carl D. Pursell, 1977-93.

James W. Dunn, 1981-83.

Paul B. Henry, 1985-93.

Robert W. Davis, 1979-93.

Joe Schwarz, 2005-07.

MINNESOTA

Senators

Edward J. Thye, 1947-59.

David Durenberger, 1978-95.

Representatives

John Zwach, 1967-75.

William E. Frenzel, 1971-93.

Arlen Erdahl, 1979-83.

Walter H. Judd, 1943-63.

MISSOURI

Senators

John Danforth, 1976-95. – Before John Danforth was elected to the Senate, Republicans were quite weak in the state, with only Gene Taylor from the staunchly conservative Springfield district representing Missouri in Congress. A strongly religious man, he was pro-life but also was very pro-civil rights and was overall a calming influence in the Senate and known as someone who could make bipartisan deals. Danforth was overall a centrist.

Representatives

Claude I. Bakewell, 1947-49, 1951-53.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Senators

Charles W. Tobey, 1933-39, 1939-53.

Representatives

Chester Merrow, 1943-63. – Although Merrow was elected to Congress as a conservative before the end of World War II, his record became more and more liberal overtime. After his departure from Congress in 1963, he switched parties and tried to regain his old House seat without success.

NEW JERSEY

Senators

Clifford P. Case, 1945-53, 1955-79. – Case of New Jersey was one of the most prominent liberal Republicans on the scene. Although he succeeded a man who voted against Social Security to the House, Case proved much more amenable to Democrats. Although his record was moderately conservative during the Republican 80th Congress, he moved leftward after the loss of Congress in 1948. Although something of a moderate liberal during the Eisenhower Administration, his record again moved more to the left during the 1960s and even more so during the 1970s. By the 1970s, Case had little in common with his party label and in 1978 he was defeated for renomination by conservative Jeffrey Bell, who lost the election. Case is, to this day, the last Republican New Jersey voters have seen fit to send to the Senate.

H. Alexander Smith, 1944-59.

Representatives

Charles A. Wolverton, 1927-59.

Peter Frelinghuysen, 1953-75.

Gordon Canfield, 1941-61.

Millicent Fenwick, 1975-83.

Florence P. Dwyer, 1957-73.

William B. Widnall, 1950-74.

Frank C. Osmers, 1939-42, 1952-65.

William T. Cahill, 1959-70.

Leonard Lance, 2009-19.

Joseph J. Maraziti, 1973-75.

Harold Hollenbeck, 1977-83.

Matthew Rinaldo, 1973-93.

Robert W. Kean, 1939-59.

Bob Franks, 1993-2001.

Margaret Roukema, 1981-2003.

George M. Wallhauser, 1959-65.

William J. Martini, 1995-97.

Jon Runyan, 2011-17.

Chris Smith, 1981-present.

Jeff Van Drew, 2019-present.

Edwin B. Forsythe, 1970-84.

NEW YORK

Representatives

Seymour Halpern, 1959-73.

John Lindsay, 1959-65. – I have written about the Lindsay legacy before.

Theodore Kupferman, 1966-69.

Francis Dorn, 1953-61.

Ogden R. Reid, 1963-74. – Switched to Democrat in 1972.

Paul A. Fino, 1953-69.

Daniel Button, 1967-71.

Hamilton Fish IV, 1969-95.

Peter A. Peyser, 1971-77, 1979-83. – Switched to Democrat after 1977.

Martin B. McKneally, 1969-71.

William F. Walsh, 1973-79.

Angelo D. Roncallo, 1973-75.

Frank J. Horton, 1963-93.

Benjamin Gilman, 1973-2003.

S. William Green, 1977-93.

Sherwood Boehlert, 1983-2007.

James T. Walsh, 1989-2009.

Bruce F. Caputo, 1977-79.

Michael G. Grimm, 2011-15.

Edwin B. Dooley, 1957-63.

Donald J. Mitchell, 1973-83.

Joseph J. DioGuardi, 1985-89.

Rick Lazio, 1993-2001.

Joseph Clark Baldwin, 1941-47.

Sue W. Kelly, 1995-2007.

Augustus W. Bennet, 1945-47.

Amory Houghton Jr., 1987-2005.

Michael P. Forbes, 1995-2001. – Switched parties in 1999.

Richard Hanna, 2011-17.

Christopher Gibson, 2011-17.

John Faso, 2015-17.

Daniel Donovan, 2015-19.

John Katko, 2015-present.

Elise Stefanik, 2015-present.

Senators

Irving Ives, 1947-59.

John Foster Dulles, 1949.

Kenneth B. Keating, 1947-59, 1959-65.

Jacob Javits, 1947-55, 1957-81.

Charles Goodell (strictly as senator), 1969-71.

NORTH DAKOTA

Representatives

William Lemke, 1933-41, 1943-50.

Usher L. Burdick, 1935-45, 1949-59.

Senators

William Langer, 1941-59.

Mark Andrews, 1963-81, 1981-87.

OHIO

Representatives

Charles W. Whalen Jr., 1967-79.

Charles A. Mosher, 1961-77.

J. William Stanton, 1965-83.

Lyle Williams, 1979-85.

Senators

William B. Saxbe, 1969-74.

Robert Taft Jr., 1963-65, 1967-71, 1971-76.

OREGON

Representatives

Homer D. Angell, 1939-55.

John Dellenback, 1967-75.

Senators

Wayne Morse, 1945-69. – Covered him in a previous post, switched parties in 1952. – 14%

Mark Hatfield, 1967-97.

Bob Packwood, 1969-95.

PENNSYLVANIA

Representatives

Marc L. Marks, 1977-83.

Charles F. Dougherty, 1979-83.

Robert J. Corbett, 1939-41, 1945-71.

James G. Fulton, 1945-71.

Mitchell Jenkins, 1947-49.

Edward Biester, 1967-77.

John P. Saylor, 1949-73.

Robert Coyne, 1981-83.

John McDade, 1963-97.

Jon D. Fox, 1995-99.

James Nelligan, 1981-83.

Jim Gerlach, 2003-15.

Robert L. Coughlin, 1969-93.

William F. Clinger Jr., 1979-97.

Thomas J. Ridge, 1983-95.

Edward Sittler, 1951-53.

James Greenwood, 1993-2005.

Michael G. Fitzpatrick, 2005-07, 2011-17.

Brian Fitzpatrick, 2017-present.

Senators

James H. Duff, 1951-57.

Hugh Scott, 1941-45, 1947-59, 1959-77.

Henry J. Heinz III, 1972-77, 1977-91.

Richard Schweiker, 1961-69, 1969-81. – Ronald Reagan picked him as his running mate in his 1976 effort at gaining the Republican nomination. Conservatives weren’t too pleased and tried to get him to change his mind and nominate James L. Buckley, New York senator and older brother of the National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr.

Arlen Specter, 1981-2011. – Switched from Republican to Democrat in 2009.

RHODE ISLAND

Representatives

Claudine Schneider, 1981-91.

Ronald Machtley, 1989-95.

Senators

John Chafee, 1977-99.

Lincoln Chafee, 1999-2007.

TENNESSEE

Representatives

Howard Baker, Sr., 1951-64.

VERMONT

Representatives

Richard W. Mallary, 1972-75.

Peter P. Smith, 1989-91.

Senators

Ernest W. Gibson Jr., 1940-41.

Ralph Flanders, 1946-59.

George Aiken, 1941-75.

Winston Prouty, 1951-59, 1959-71.

Robert Stafford, 1961-71, 1971-89.

Jim Jeffords, 1975-89, 1989-2007. – Switched from Republican to Independent in 2001.

WASHINGTON

Representatives

Joel Pritchard, 1973-85.

Hal Holmes, 1943-59.

John R. Miller, 1985-93.

Rodney Chandler, 1983-93.

Thor Tollefson, 1947-65.

Sid Morrison, 1981-93.

Senators

Daniel J. Evans, 1983-89.

WISCONSIN

Senators

Alexander Wiley, 1939-63.

Representatives

Merlin Hull, 1929-31, 1935-53.

Gardner R. Withrow, 1931-37, 1949-61.

Charles J. Kersten, 1947-49, 1951-55.

Donald E. Tewes, 1957-59.

Scott L. Klug, 1991-99.

William A. Steiger, 1967-78.

Alvin O’Konski, 1943-73.

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