Since 1990, Roll Call has published its Congressional Clout Index – a biennial analysis that ranks a state’s clout in comparison to its population. The newest Roll Call Clout Index, released today, puts Alaska’s Congressional delegation atop the list as the nation’s top performer.
According to the study, Alaska ranks 15 spots higher (33) than its population ranking (48) – making it pound for pound the most powerful congressional delegation relative to its representation in Congress.
- Total Clout Index: Each state’s delegation is scored using a weighted formula including total size, seniority, percentage from the party in power, chairmen and ranking members, and assignments to exclusive committees.
- Clout Per Member Index: Also scored from 1 to 100, this is the indexed result of the state's Total Clout score divided by the number of members of Congress representing the state. This number gives you a sense of the state's influence relative to its population.
The Alaska congressional delegation has often been recognized for “punching above their weight,” credited with its longevity of service, ability to move legislation and senior positions upon Committees. Alaska Congressman Don Young, the second longest serving House Republican in U.S. history, has previously been recognized as one of the “10 Most Effective Lawmakers” by the Washington Post and is credited with passing more legislation into law than any other sitting member of the U.S. House of Represenatives.
ICYMI: New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence (Roll Call)
115th Congress: The Overachievers
“Conversely, modestly populated Republican strongholds dominate the roster of states with lawmakers positioned to deliver the goods at levels disproportionately better than their number of constituents.
“Alaska has been the biggest overperformer, almost without exception, in Clout Indexes going back more than two decades. This year is no exception. It may have dipped to 48th in population but its three GOP lawmakers combine for 33rd in influence — mainly because, during her 15th year as a senator, Lisa Murkowski is chairwoman of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.
“Don Young has finished six-year terms chairing two legislative committees, but next month, he’ll mark his 44th anniversary as the state’s solitary House member — more time in office than that of 20 states’ entire House delegations.”
114th Congress: Alaska Ranked “Biggest Over-Performer”
“The biggest over-performer is Alaska, 47th in population but 32nd in clout. That's thanks to Lisa Murkowski, the Energy and Natural Resources chairwoman and an Appropriations member in her 13th year as a senator, and fellow Republican Don Young, the state’s sole House member. He has termed out in two committee chairmanships but has more seniority on his own (42 years last month) than the cumulative House seniority of 21 other state delegations. “