The Rittenhouse Review

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2004  

Worst Republican Senator

Rittenhouse readers last week were asked to choose “the most offensive, odious, or objectionable U.S. Republican senator” from a pre-selected list of 10 names.

Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), while not gaining a majority of votes, won in a landslide, garnering a healthy 42 percent share. Coming in a distant second was Sen. William Frist (Tenn.) with 17 percent, and in third place was Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.).

I was surprised Sen. Santorum finished so far in front given the heavy competition for the title. A reader suggested his strong position arose from the fact that The Rittenhouse Review is published from Philadelphia, in Sen. Santorum’s home state. That’s possible, but I doubt it, as my mail doesn’t reflect a preponderance of Pennsylvania readers. Maybe it’s just that Sen. Santorum is as offensive, odious, and objectionable as so many of you thought before casting your votes.

I voted for the other Pennsylvanian, Sen. Arlen Specter, if only because with Sen. Santorum you know what you’re getting, but with Sen. Specter, what you get depends solely on which way he thinks the wind is blowing.

The final tally is as follows:

Rick Santorum (Pa.), 177 votes, or 42%
William Frist (Tenn.), 72 votes, 17%
James Inhofe (Okla.), 49 votes, 12%
Trent Lott (Miss.), 36 votes, 9%
Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), 29 votes, 7%,
Orrin Hatch (Utah), 28 votes, 7%
Arlen Specter (Pa.), 13 votes, 3%
Don Nickles (Okla.), 8 votes, 2%
Lindsey Graham (S.C.), 4 votes, 1%
Richard Shelby (Ala.), 2 votes, negligible

Thanks for your participation. A new poll will be posted later today.

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