Last summer, I wrote a piece on political ideology in the Washington State Senate, and another on my methodology for computing those ideology scores. In the year since, I’ve sunk deeper into political science twitter. A few days ago, I came across a tweet that said “New update to our state legislative ideology data,” and this piqued my interest. In my initial searches last year, I had trouble finding individual-level ideology data for the Washington State Legislature, but sure enough, Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty have taken on the huge task of pulling together an up-to-date data set of state legislators and ideology scores based on Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test.
I was really thrilled to find this data set, and I wondered: how well do the ideology scores in this data set support/refute my conclusions from analyzing roll call votes? I downloaded their data for Washington State Senators and did some analysis to compare the results to mine.
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