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Senator Reed’s Tweet About Bipartisanship Not Supported by Georgetown Ranking

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

 

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

U.S. Senator Jack Reed claimed that fellow Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse works across the political aisle in a "bipartisan spirit," after Whitehouse nabbed a seat on the Senate Finance Committee -- but a research center at Georgetown University ranks the Reed and Whitehouse duo as the second most partisan pair of in the body.

Shortly after Whitehouse's appointment to the powerful Finance Committee on Tuesday, Reed took to Twitter and claimed the Whitehouse is "following [the] bipartisan footsteps of late Sen. John Chafee."

However, data compiled over the past decade by The Lugar Center and Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy have produced a non-partisan ranking of how often each member of Congress works across party lines. The research is regularly quoted by The Washington Post, Politico, The Hill and Roll Call.

Reed, Whitehouse "Most Partisan"

The Lugar Center most recently reported that the pair of Rhode Island senators rank 49th out of 50 -- only the Massachusetts combo of Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren are ranked as even more partisan. In addition, Whitehouse was ranked as one of the most partisan senators. He ranks as the 9th most partisan, Reed is ranked as the 20th most partisan, Susan Collins (R-ME) is ranked as the least partisan, and neither the senator majority and minority leader were ranked due to their party leadership positions.

Whitehouse is found to be more partisan than former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and now U.S. Attorney General and long-time U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC). 

“Our country is facing significant political and policy challenges– challenges that require lawmakers to work together,” said Michael A. Bailey, interim dean of the McCourt School. “We hope the Bipartisan Index encourages them to cross the aisle more often to get things done on behalf of their constituents.”

Reed claims Whitehouse In a Tweet on Tuesday:

 

On Tuesday morning, GoLocal received an email from Whitehouse's campaign that ripped the GOP, "Congressional Republicans already used their tax scam to shower billionaires with handouts. Now, their priority is "entitlement reform" – which is what they call cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security when they don't want to actually call them cuts. They claim Medicaid needs more 'flexibility,' but we know what they really mean – after all, they've got to fund those tax breaks for the wealthy somehow."

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Multiple times per week, Whitehouse's campaign sends out emails strongly criticizing GOP members of the Senate, House of Representatives as well as Republican President Donald Trump.

Reed's Office Defends Tweet

Reed's press secretary defended the Tweet and claimed that the ranking has limitations.

"The Lugar Center study itself points out it is an imperfect tool for measuring bipartisanship by noting: 'It is essential to understand that one cannot get a clear and fair picture simply by tallying up bipartisan sponsorships and co-sponsorships in a single Congress. Both Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse have a record of working across the aisle to get things done for Rhode Island," wrote Chip Unruh, spokesman for Reed, in an email to GoLocal on Tuesday night.

In a comprehensive ranking of members of Congress over 20 years, former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee was ranked as the least partisan, the late John Chafee was ranked as the 15th least partisan, Reed is ranked 124th, Whitehouse 210th of the 240 senators.

 

Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017

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Sponsor: GoLocalProv

Sample: N=403

Rhode Island General Election Voters Margin of Error: +/- 4.9% at 95% Confidence Level

Interviewing Period: October 9-11, 2017

Mode: Landline (61%) and Mobile (39%)

Telephone Directed by: John Della Volpe, SocialSphere, Inc.

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Are you registered to vote at this address?

Yes: 100%

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When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

Unaffiliated: 49%

Democrat: 32%

Republican: 15%

Moderate: .4%

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Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?

Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

Definitely be voting: 78%

Probably be voting: 13%

50-50: 9%

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In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?

Right track: 39%

Wrong track: 45%

Mixed: 10%

Don't know/Refused: .6%

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What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?

Jobs and economy:  21%

Education: 12%

Taxes: 12%

Roads: 12%

State budget: 9%

Corruption/Public integrity: .8%

Healthcare: 3%

Governor: 3%

Homelessness: 2%

Immigration: 2%

Other: 7%

Don’t know: .9%

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Over the past three years or so, would you say the economy in Rhode Island has improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 35%

Changed for the worse: 16%

Not changed at all: 43%

Don't know/Refused: 5%

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Over the same time, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

Changed for the better: 26%

Changed for the worse: 19%

Not changed at all: 54%

Don't know/Refused: 1%

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Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?

Net: Approve: 28%

Definitely approve: 15%

Probably approve: 14%

Net: Reject: 67%

Probably reject: 19%

Definitely reject: 48%

Don't know: 4%

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Could you please tell me your age?

18-24: 7%

25-34: 15%

35-44: 15%

45-54: 20%

55-64: 17%

65+: 25%

Don't know/refused: 1%

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What was the last grade you completed in school?

0-11: 2%

High school grad: 16%

Technical/Vocational school: 1%

Some college: 23%

College grad: 34%

Graduate degree: 24%

Don't know/refused: 1%

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The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).

$50,000 or less: 27%

More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%

More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%

More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%

$150,000 or more: 13%

Don't know/refused: 17%

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What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?

American/None: 21%

English: 13%

Italian: 13%

Irish: 12%

Black or African American: 6%

Latino/Hispanic: 6%

French: 6%

Portuguese: 3%

Jewish: 3%

German: 1%

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Would you say that Donald Trump has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as President?


Excellent: 13%
Good: 12%
Fair: 14%
Poor: 57%
Never heard of:  0%
Cannot rate: 3%

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Would you say that Jack Reed has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 22%
Good: 29%
Fair: 23%
Poor: 15%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 6%

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Would you say that Sheldon Whitehouse has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

Excellent: 17%
Good: 22%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 28%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate: 7%

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Would you say that David Cicilline has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 9%
Good: 29%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 27%
Never heard of: 6%
Cannot rate:  8%

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Would you say that James Langevin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

Excellent: 7%
Good: 30%
Fair: 20%
Poor: 18%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 11%

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Would you say that Gina Raimondo has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Governor?

Excellent: 6%
Good: 28%
Fair: 30%
Poor: 31%
Never heard of: 1%
Cannot rate: 3%

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Would you say that Daniel McKee has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Lieutenant Governor?


Excellent: 3%
Good: 16%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 8%
Never heard of: 26%
Cannot rate: 25%

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Would you say that Peter Kilmartin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Attorney General?


Excellent: 3%
Good: 20%
Fair: 28%
Poor: 17%
Never heard of: 13%
Cannot rate: 19%

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Would you say that Seth Magaziner has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as General Treasurer?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 18%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 13%
Never heard of: 21%
Cannot rate: 21%

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Would you say that Nellie Gorbea has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Secretary of State?

Excellent: 5%
Good: 21%
Fair: 21%
Poor: 10%
Never heard of: 20%
Cannot rate: 23%

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Would you say that Jorge Elorza has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Mayor of Providence?

Excellent: 4%
Good: 24%
Fair: 24%
Poor: 22%
Never heard of: 9%
Cannot rate: 15%

 
 

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