Cage match: Craig Frank vs John Valentine

Rep. Frank and Sen. Valentine disagree on 7-10% of the bills that pass.

Correction (April 3, 2012): A database error caused my query to omit roughly half of the votes held each year. The omitted votes were roughly random, so the general patterns aren’t much different here than originally reported (when viewed as percents). That is, we still find that disagreements are rare, and that most disagreements take the form of Frank’s “no” to Valentine’s “yes.” The main change you’ll notice from this correction is that the raw numbers are higher. I now report roughly twice as many disagreements in 2012 as I reported previously, although the rate of disagreements is roughly the same (since I now report twice as many agreements, too).

Utah Representative Craig Frank has declared his intention to seek the Utah Senate seat currently held by John Valentine. Both legislators have served many years in the legislature. Rep. Frank has served 8 sessions (all in the House), Sen. Valentine has served 24 sessions (10 in the House, 14 in the Senate), including a stint as Senate President. Neither is a rookie here.

I have detailed data on legislative voting from 2007 on, making it possible to compare their voting records for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. (Rep. Craig Frank missed the 2011 session due to a mishap with district maps.) Let’s see what we find.

One caution: Since we’re comparing a representative to a senator, we can only compare their votes on the final version of bills that pass. I explained the reasons for this limitation last time I compared a Senator’s record to a Representative’s. Long story short: This means we’re likely to underestimate the true amount of disagreement a little.

In recent sessions, Rep. Frank and Sen. Valentine disagree on 7-10% of the bills that pass. Here’s the percentage of disagreements, by year:

  • 2007: 6.4%
  • 2008: 6.2%
  • 2009: 5.4%
  • 2010: 9.5%
  • 2011: na
  • 2012: 7.2%

Most often, it’s Rep. Frank’s “no” to Sen. Valentine’s “yes,” not the other way around. You can see that pattern in this table:

Valentine “yes” Valentine “no”
Frank “yes” 1,771 19
Frank “no” 115 14

If we look only at the 2012 session, we see that Rep. Frank voted “no” to Sen. Valentine’s “yes” 28 times. Here’s the bills where that happened:

By contrast, there were 6 times in 2012 that Sen. Valentine voted “no” to Rep. Frank’s “yes.” Here they are:

If you’d like to see a complete list of all their disagreements since 2007, send me an email and ask.

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About Adam Brown

Adam Brown is an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University and a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. You can learn more about him at his website.
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