Doug Jones Will Be the Most Liberal Senator From Alabama in Recent History

I guess you can file this under “too much free time on my hands.” But I was curious: will Doug Jones be not just the first Democratic Senator from Alabama since 1992, but the most liberal Alabama senator in recent history? Based on scores from DW-NOMINATE, the answer is almost certainly yes:

Negative numbers are liberal, so Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley give an idea of the current far-left pole of the Democratic Party, while Mike Lee and James Risch are at the far-right pole of the Republican Party. Doug Jones will clearly be the most culturally liberal senator from Alabama since the New Deal, and depending on how he compares to Hugo Black, the most economically liberal too.

By the way, if DW-NOMINATE scores are to be believed, Jeff Sessions (the lower black diamond) was the previous record-holder for most culturally liberal senator from Alabama in recent history. Interesting, no?


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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