Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California's just as left-leaning as you thought — at least in Congress

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Kitty Felde/KPCC

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood) made the National Journal's list of "most liberal" lawmakers.

California is a blue state, but just how liberal is its Congressional delegation? If you ask National Journal, pretty darn liberal.

The Journal has been rating members of Congress for the past three decades by looking at how they vote on issues ranging from securities laws to mail delivery. Many of the votes last year had to do with the economy.

California has 55 members in Congress, so it’s not surprising mathematically to find so many of them making the list. Most of them ended up on the “most liberal” side of the ledger.

There are 26 Congressional Democrats on the “most liberal” list. Of the 14 with the highest rating, five are from California: Mike Honda, Barbara Lee, Linda Sanchez, Pete Stark, and Lynne Woolsey. Karen Bass comes in next. Xavier Becerra, Sam Farr, and Henry Waxman all made the list.

In sheer percentages, California lawmakers make up 12 percent of the House of Representatives as a whole; Californians on the National Journal ranking make up more than a third of the "most liberal" list.

On the “most conservative” side of the charts, California is clearly underrepresented. Out of the 26 lawmakers on that list, only one California Congressman made the cut: Republican Duncan Hunter, weighing in at number 18.

California’s GOP lost four seats in last November’s election. Perhaps reflecting the shrinking number of Republican voters in California, many in the state's GOP delegation are sounding more moderate on a number of issues.

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