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2016 Congressional Political Courage Test Results

26 October 2016

2016 Congressional Political Courage Test Results:

The Political Courage Test, which has been endorsed by major media in every election since 1992, asks candidates to demonstrate their political courage by providing voters with that essential information, in spite of the fact that opponents might use their answers in political attacks.

Afraid of their opponents, more than 70% of congressional candidates now refuse to answer basic questions on the key issues voters in their districts and states are concerned about. The 2016 Political Courage Test results released today show a dramatic 20-year decline in the response rates from 72% in 1996 to only 24%. However, Vote Smart has done an end run around the candidates by researching their public records and publishing all candidates’ positions on thirteen key issues on VoteEasy.

Check out the results, below!

Total Candidates sent PCT: Total Candidates: 1200

Republicans: 449

Democrats: 454

Ind./3rd Party: 297

Incumbents: 416 Challengers: 784

Total Candidates returning PCT:

Republicans: 74

Democrats: 104 Ind./3rd Party: 115 Incumbents: 32

Challengers: 261  


Breakdown by State:

Alabama: 8%
Alaska: 22%
Arizona: 21%
Arkansas: 40%
California: 20%
Colorado: 43%
Delaware: 25%
Florida: 33%
Georgia: 16%
Hawaii: 36%
Idaho: 50%
Illinois: 13%
Indiana: 23%
Iowa: 33%
Kansas: 60%
Kentucky: 42%
Louisiana: 15%
Maine: 0%
Maryland: 26%
Massachusetts: 35%
Michigan: 24%
Minnesota: 21%
Mississippi: 0%
Missouri: 36%
Montana: 0%
Nebraska: 0%
Nevada: 33%
New Hampshire: 25%
New Jersey: 28%
New Mexico: 17%
New York: 13%
North Carolina: 34%
North Dakota: 33%
Ohio: 24%
Oklahoma: 29%
Oregon: 41%
Pennsylvania: 18%
Rhode Island: 17%
South Carolina: 19%
South Dakota: 25%
Tennessee: 25%
Texas: 20%
Utah: 44%
Vermont: 40%
Virginia: 17%
Washington: 27%
West Virginia: 43%
Wisconsin: 30%
Wyoming: 25%

Related tags: blog, election-2016, political-courage-test


tom jencius says...

Posted on October 27, 2016 @ 2:38 p.m.

Disappointing, but not at all unexpected. Such is the state of our politics today.

Gretchen says...

Posted on October 27, 2016 @ 3:37 p.m.

Very disappointing, indeed, but I'm impressed by Kansas.

Andria Anderson says...

Posted on October 27, 2016 @ 11:41 p.m.

I have one point of confusion on these ratings. Often a bill about one issue has riders on unrelated issues. How does VoteSmart compensate for a politician who rejects, say, a health insurance bill because it had an amendment promoting fracking added to it (just as an example)?

It would seem that just a listing of what bills they voted for could not accurately reflect their true views on any given issue.

(Yes, I understand that they could return the questionnaire and thus state their stances plainly.)

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