US Senator Scott Brown has a new piece of evidence to tout his moderate credentials: a Congressional Quarterly study that lists the Massachusetts Republican as the second most bipartisan senator in 2011, behind Maine’s Susan Collins.
The study from Congressional Quarterly, a publication that covers Capitol Hill, said that Brown voted with his party 54 percent of the time and with President Obama’s stated positions 70 percent of the time.
CQ’s party unity score counts only roll call votes when Democrats and Republicans are at loggerheads.
Collins, also a Republican, voted with her party 48 percent of the time.
Maine’s other moderate Republican senator, Olympia Snowe, voted with her party 57 percent of the time.
The rest of the Massachusetts delegation, all Democrats, voted with their party more than 90 percent of the time.
The CQ study uses a different methodology than an oft-cited Washington Post review that says Brown votes with his party 75 percent of the time. The Post counts all votes, including many that have bipartisan support, whereas CQ includes only those on which the parties are generally at odds.
Brown, who officially launched his reelection campaign last week, has been emphasizing his willingness to cross party lines as he faces a stiff challenge from Elizabeth Warren, the probable Democratic nominee. Running in a state that usually votes Democratic, Brown needs to woo moderate Democrats and independents to hold on to his seat.
Democrats have been highlighting those occasions when Brown has stood with his party, trying to make the case that he is out of step with the state’s dominant views.
After Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Brown made a point of reaching out to President Obama to urge him to persuade Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada to allow a floor vote on his bill to tighten rules for insider trading in Congress.
Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.