National Journal’s annual congressional vote rankings are out, and I think it’s interesting that all of their math has simply confirmed what GovTrack.us already demonstrated: that Rep. Tom Perriello is a solidly centrist member of congress. He votes more liberally 47.2% of the time, and conservatively 52.8% of the time. In fact, as it turns out, if you simply wanted to apply a dichotomous label to him, “conservative” would be the necessary word. Every other congressman in Virginia is way out in the wings (Eric Cantor, 88th percentile of the conservatives; Bobby Scott, 83rd percentile of the liberals; Bob Goodlatte, 85th percentile of the conservatives; Gerry Connolly, 72nd percentile of the liberals, etc.), with two exceptions: Glenn Nye votes are in the 55th percentile of conservatives, and Rick Boucher is in the 55th percentile of liberals.
So when you hear Republicans claim that Boucher or Perriello (or Nye) take marching orders from Nancy Pelosi or vote lockstep with Democrats, this is how you can know that they’re either ignorant or liars.
02/27 Update: I’ve changed a few words here to reflect the actual methodology used in the analysis. See my comment for details.