Veteran GOP senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who is battling a conservative primary challenger, has a new political headache: a scathing appraisal and conservative rating from the American Conservative Union, one of the right’s most influential assessors of Republicans, the Washington Post reports.
In its new annual scorecard, which was shared with The Washington Post on Wednesday, the ACU shows Cochran, at 63 percent, with one of the group’s worst ratings during the Obama presidency. That’s more than 25 points lower than the ratings for many of Cochran’s GOP colleagues during the same five-year period, including others facing primary trouble, such as Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who has an 89 percent rating, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who has a 94 percent rating.
According to Dan Schneider, the ACU’s executive director, Cochran’s rating suffered mostly due to his opposition to legislation reducing the size of government from 2009 to present, which is the timeframe the organization has chosen to focus on, as way of more broadly measuring a legislator’s conservatism.
“We’ve combined very visible votes with less visible votes to get these numbers,” Schneider said. “I think Thad Cochran is in big trouble with his Obama-era rating. It’s just poor and on this grander scale, he gets a D-minus. Over the last five years, he has shown a penchant for big government.”