Udall voted with Obama 99 percent of the time in 2014, according to the newly released CQ vote study. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to avoid tough votes this year has backfired in one respect — it gave his vulnerable incumbents few opportunities to show off any independence from President Barack Obama.
A new CQ vote study shows vulnerable Senate Democrats almost always voted to support the president in 2014 — a fact that has been instantly seized upon by Republicans, given that Obama’s approval rating is languishing in the low 40s nationally and lower still in several battleground states.
As senior writer Shawn Zeller writes in this week’s CQ Weekly cover story, Democrats who have been distancing themselves from Obama on the campaign trail not in votes on the Senate floor — whether it be Mark Udall of Colorado, Mark Pryor of Arkansas or Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana:
Udall disagreed just once, on a Pennsylvania state judge’s nomination to a federal district court. Pryor parted with Obama three times, and Landrieu four, but only one of those votes was on a policy matter. In July, Landrieu voted against Obama’s request for $2.7 billion to deal with the surge of Latin American children entering the U.S. illegally.
Indeed, all of the most vulnerable Democrats voted with President Obama at least 96 percent of the time on the 120 votes on which Obama has urged a “yes” or “no” vote. Full story