Politics of Biden’s Day: A Guessing Game

Biden being sworn into for his first Senate term.

Modern American politics have been characterized by polarization. The least liberal Democrat is less conservative than the least conservative Republican in the present Congress. However, when President Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, things were not that way. Not at all. The parties had developed distinct wings, and even among those wings was a significant diversity of thought. To illustrate this, I’ve decided to play a game with my readers. That is, can you spot the Democrat and the Republican in the Senate Biden started in? I have provided the senators free of party identification at the bottom along with their modified (meaning pairs on legislation are counted towards their score) Americans for Constitutional Action scores for 1973 and 1974. These scores are based on 29 key votes from 1973 and 19 key votes from 1974, with 100 being most conservative. I’ll provide two freebies here because you will not guess them: James L. Buckley of New York is a Conservative-Republican, and Harry F. Byrd Jr. of Virginia is an Independent. I have also added President Nixon’s score based on votes in which his positions were recorded. The rest are either Democrats or Republicans. Some names might be recognizable, others not at all. Also, please don’t be a filthy cheater and look up these senators’ political parties before doing this. This is meant to educate how different politics has become and I’m interested in what people come up with for this! Also, to illustrate just how far back Biden’s career goes.

ALABAMA19731974
Allen7284
Sparkman4850
ALASKA
Gravel931
Stevens5921
ARIZONA
Fannin96100
Goldwater91100
ARKANSAS
Fulbright2343
McClellan7889
CALIFORNIA
Cranston80
Tunney35
COLORADO
Dominick7878
Haskell1117
CONNECTICUT
Ribicoff1811
Weicker4839
DELAWARE
Biden85
Roth8374
FLORIDA
Chiles3544
Gurney8293
GEORGIA
Nunn6679
Talmadge6981
HAWAII
Fong5846
Inouye1511
IDAHO
Church2027
McClure92100
ILLINOIS
Percy1918
Stevenson711
INDIANA
Bayh36
Hartke418
IOWA
Clark35
Hughes85
KANSAS
Dole8284
Pearson2421
KENTUCKY
Cook4857
Huddleston1526
LOUISIANA
Johnston5283
Long4163
MAINE
Hathaway40
Muskie00
MARYLAND
Beall6137
Mathias40
MASSACHUSETTS
Brooke75
Kennedy40
MICHIGAN
Griffin8867
Hart40
MINNESOTA
Humphrey00
Mondale40
MISSISSIPPI
Eastland7089
Stennis7395
MISSOURI
Eagleton818
Symington1218
MONTANA
Mansfield711
Metcalf3417
NEBRASKA
Curtis97100
Hruska93100
NEVADA
Bible3237
Cannon2532
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Cotton10089
McIntyre70
NEW JERSEY
Case30
Williams00
NEW MEXICO
Domenici8956
Montoya2422
NEW YORK
Buckley96100
Javits70
NORTH CAROLINA
Ervin6789
Helms100100
NORTH DAKOTA
Burdick1111
Young5263
OHIO
Metzenbaum5
Saxbe57
Taft5742
OKLAHOMA
Bartlett9695
Bellmon6175
OREGON
Hatfield295
Packwood3619
PENNSYLVANIA
Schweiker1716
Scott6139
RHODE ISLAND
Pastore145
Pell76
SOUTH CAROLINA
Hollings4463
Thurmond83100
SOUTH DAKOTA
Abourezk011
McGovern00
TENNESSEE
Baker7372
Brock8689
TEXAS
Bentsen4141
Tower9289
UTAH
Bennett8693
Moss146
VERMONT
Aiken3833
Stafford1911
VIRGINIA
Byrd86100
Scott96100
WASHINGTON
Jackson2111
Magnuson1411
WEST VIRGINIA
Byrd3847
Randolph2811
WISCONSIN
Nelson46
Proxmire2826
WYOMING
Hansen96100
McGee1720
USA
Nixon10089

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