Politics as Sporting Event

I LOVE college football. Being a Penn Stater probably has something to do with that. There are winners, losers, and fiercely partisan fans. Unfortunately, politics is beginning to look more and more like (and be treated more and more like) a sporting event.

Congress.org has recently begun posting 'Power Rankings' for the House and Senate. From the Washington Post:

A company serving lobbyists published its "Power Rankings" of Congress online yesterday after five months of combing through legislative records, committee assignments, news articles and fundraising documents.

The list, which can be viewed at [here], is a snapshot of who the company believes wielded the most power on Capitol Hill last year, said Brad Fitch, chief executive of Knowlegis, a new firm that provides software and information to clients who want to influence public policy.

The rankings take into account such factors as tenure, committee positions, party membership, money contributed to congressional candidates through leadership PACs and the degree to which a politician was able to shape legislation through amendments.
The website also ranks states by political power. States with the most power include Nevada, Vermont, Montana, West Virginia and Iowa. States with the least power include Colorado, Georgia, Arkansas, New Jersey and Maryland. California only ranks as 'average' along with other high population states like New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. Texas and Illinois are only slightly above average. Kinda funny, huh?

The top 10 states by population (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and New Jersey) represent 57% of the U.S. Population and do not have a single state in the 'Political Power' top ten. The Political Power heavyweights (New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Alaska, North Dakota, Iowa, West Virginia, Vermont, and Connecticut) represent only 6% of the U.S. Population.

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