The voting patterns of state lawmakers has reached a record new level of political polarization according to a just released analysis by the Center for Legislative Accountability (CLA). The comprehensive study examined all 7,400 state lawmakers from each of the 50 states, including over 265,000 individual votes across 3,500 different bills introduced in state legislatures.
The nation’s 3,906 Republican state lawmakers voted conservative 80.89% of the time last year compared to 76.41% in 2020. The 3,223 Democrat lawmakers across the 50 state legislatures voted with the conservative position 15.90% of the time, down from 18.72% in 2020. The 64.99 percentage point divide between the two political parties marks the highest level of political polarization since the CLA became the first and only organization to track such data in 2015.
The CLA, a project of CPAC Foundation and the American Conservative Union Foundation, also ranked all 50 state legislatures based on the conservative voting of their lawmakers across 186 policy categories. This past year Alabama lawmakers voted with the conservative position at the highest rate (74% of the time) and Massachusetts lawmakers the least (15% of the time).