Sen. Lamar Alexander’s votes align with Barack Obama positions, study says

Authored By James Harrison

Sen. Lamar Alexander made headlines Monday, as a new report from a Washington, D.C., quarterly showed that he sided with President Barack Obama on votes more than any other GOP senator from the South last year. 

The study, conducted by Congressional Quarterly, ranked lawmakers on how they sided with the president on issues he took a clear position on in 2012. It found Alexander aligning with Obama 62 percent of the time, according to a Tennessean report

Of 251 roll calls taken in the Senate last year, Congressional Quarterly found the president announcing his own position on 79 of those tallies. At least 40 of those roll calls pertained to judicial nominations, leaving a smaller number of bills as being consequential to lawmakers’ overall scores. 

One year ago, Alexander stepped down from his post as GOP conference chairman-the third-highest ranking position for a Senate Republican. Having served in the position since 2007, the senator said his decision was influenced by a desire to take more aggressive positions on major issues typically divided along partisan lines-a suggestion he made good on.

Last year, Alexander bucked his party when voting to uphold an Environmental Protection Agency clean air rule that his GOP colleagues sought to overturn.

Republican senators from Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska and Indiana were the only ones to have aligned with the president more often than Alexander. Sen. Bob Corker scored a 56 percent ranking. 

Though the study may disappoint some GOP voters across the state, it won’t likely have any bearing on support from establishment Republicans who have already put their support behind Alexander for his 2014 Senate run. Announcing his plans to seek a third term, Alexander listed several prominent GOP lawmakers as honorary co-chairs of his campaign.