Liljenquist’s former colleagues are evenly split on his candidacy, but it’s hard to explain the split using ideology.
Today, Dan Liljenquist announced that 13 of the 22 Republicans in the state senate have endorsed his challenge against Orrin Hatch. I thought I’d do a quick comparison of the 13 who endorsed him to the 9 who did not.
To focus this a bit, I’ll only look at those state senators who actually served with Dan Liljenquist. Senators Weiler, Anderson, and Osmond didn’t begin their legislative service until after Liljenquist had stepped down; they replaced Senators Liljenquist, Stowell, and Buttars. If we ignore these three, that leaves 19 Republican state senators who (a) served with Liljenquist and (b) are still in the senate.
Of these 19 Republican senate colleagues, 10 have endorsed Dan Liljenquist (according to the list of endorsers at Liljenquist’s website), implying that 9 have declined to do so.
This table shows the name of each of the 19 Republican state senators and whether they have endorsed Dan Liljenquist (according to Liljenquist’s website). The table also gives each senator’s 2011 ideology score (where a more conservative voting record produces a higher score; most Senate Democrats have scores well below zero). The table is sorted by ideology score. Take a look:
|Senator||Liljenquist endorsement||Ideology score (2011)|
|Hillyard, Lyle W.||Yes||57.9|
|Van Tassell, Kevin T.||No||61|
|Christensen, Allen M.||No||66.8|
|Hinkins, David P.||Yes||68.2|
|Knudson, Peter C.||No||71.4|
|Bramble, Curtis S.||No||74.1|
|Adams, J. Stuart||Yes||77.8|
|Reid, Stuart C.||Yes||78.2|
|Urquhart, Stephen H.||Yes||79.6|
|Niederhauser, Wayne L.||Yes||79.8|
|Thatcher, Daniel W.||No||80|
|Stevenson, Jerry W.||Yes||81|
|Waddoups, Michael G.||No||84|
|Valentine, John L.||No||85.5|
|Madsen, Mark B.||No||90.7|
|Stephenson, Howard A.||Yes||93.8|
|Jenkins, Scott K.||No||99.5|
For comparison, Dan Liljenquist’s ideology score in 2011 was 84.9.
What’s striking is that there is no pattern at all when it comes to ideology scores. The average ideology score of those endorsing Liljenquist (78.8) is roughly the same as the average of those not endorsing him (79.2).
Of the two Republican Senators with the highest ideology scores (Dayton and Jenkins), one endorsed him and one did not. Of the two Republican Senators with the lowest scores (Hillyard and Van Tassell), one endorsed him and one did not.
Liljenquist’s former colleagues are evenly split on his candidacy, but it’s hard to explain the split using ideology. 10 have endorsed him and 9 have not, but the reason for this split is not clear.