The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, May 18, 2004  

Most Admired Republican Senator

The polls closed at 6:00 p.m. and the results are in. Asked which Republican senator you admire most or find least objectionable, Rittenhouse readers chose Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) by a wide margin.

The Arizona senator garnered 45 percent of readers’ votes. Sen. McCain was followed by Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), with 23 percent, and Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), with 16 percent of the vote.

Readers probably aren’t surprised by the results. It would be difficult to demonize any of the ten senators listed below. All are decent people, have displayed admirable qualities, and taken the right positions on at least some issues. (For example, I respect and admire Sen. Pete Domenici (N.M.) for his advocacy on mental-health issues and medical coverage.) As such, I don’t think a low standing in this poll reflects badly on any of these lawmakers. And there was stiff competition: Frankly, I was surprised to find so many Republicans warranting inclusion.

But there’s always need for improvement, particularly in the Senate, and this is an election year, one offering an opportunity for Democrats to take it back. (And here comes my plug -- like you didn’t see it coming: The Rittenhouse Review is helping Rep. Joe Hoeffel [D-Pa.] raise funds for his campaign against all-too-incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter [R-Pa.]. If you would like to donate to the Hoeffel effort click here.)

By the way, I voted for Sen. Chafee. He’s arguably in the wrong party anyway.

The final tally is as follows:

1. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), 156 votes, or 45%
2. Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), 78 votes, 23%
3. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), 54 votes, 16%
4. Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), 22 votes, 6%
5. Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.), 16 votes, 5%
6. Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), 11 votes, 3%
7. Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), 3 votes, 1%
(tie) Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa), 3 votes, 1%
9. Sen. Pete Domenici (N.M.), 2 votes, 1%
10. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), 1 vote, negligible

Thanks for your participation. A new poll will be posted tomorrow.

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