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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Left wing, right wing, middle of the bird?

The National Journal has developed a great resource for figuring out where your congressional delegation stands on on the political spectrum, an interactive graphic that combines the scores of several rating groups, then ranks the honorables with their photos.

Rating systems aren't new, of course, but this one is just more fun. It's available by clicking here.

In it, we learn that the National Journal's calculations place Patty Murray as the Senate's most liberal member, based on last year's votes. That puts her 17 slots ahead of Maria Cantwell, her fellow Washington Democrat, 76 ahead of Larry Craig, who was Idaho's senior senator until he retired last year, and  79 ahead of Mike Crapo, also R-Idaho. Four Republicans -- all westerners -- tied for the ranking of most conservative in the Senate.

What about the House? Washington, of course, is a mixed bag. Idaho, not so much. . .

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the 330th most liberal, which is to say the 97th most conservative. That puts her in the middle between Central Washington Republican Doc Hastings, who is 374 Liberal/52 Conservative, and East King County Republican Dave Reichert, at 247 Liberal/181 Conservative

Washington Democrats line up like this: Jim McDermott, 83L/344C (this will come as a HUGE surprise to West Side conservatives who think of McDermott as somewhere left of V. Lenin.); Jay Inslee 95L/332C; Rick Larsen128L/300C; Adam Smith 135L/293C; Norm Dicks 153L/274 C; and Brian Baird 175L/252C.

Idaho had the 13th most conservative or 414th most liberal House member in Republican Bill Sali, who lost his re-election campaign last November. Fellow Idaho Republican Mike Simpson was a bit closer to the middle of the GOP pack, coming in at 29 L/136C Twelve Democrats tied for the ranking of most liberal. Three Republicans tied for most conservative.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.