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Senate Democrats running for president are missing an unusually high number of votes


Neglecting their day job

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Senate Democrats who are pursuing their party's 2020 presidential nomination are also severely neglecting the obligations of their current jobs, according to the Washington Examiner.

It's not new for lawmakers to miss congressional votes while running for a larger office, but this group of senators is missing votes at a noticeably higher rate than previous candidate pools.

Some senators have missed nearly 50 percent of Senate floor votes this year. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J) leads the way, having missed 47 percent of votes, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) at 46 percent, and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) at 41 percent.

Yes, Sen. Gillibrand, who is polling at 0 or 1 percent in many national polls, is committing so much time to her presidential campaign that she is missing 41 percent of Senate votes.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is doing a bit better than the other front-runner senators, having missed 29 percent of this year's votes. Michael Bennet of Colorado has missed 28 percent and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has missed 24 percent.

On average, Democratic senators have missed 31 percent of votes this year.

In fairness, these aren't the worst numbers we've ever seen from a senator with presidential ambitions. In 2007, late former Sen. John McCain missed 53 percent of votes.

The statistics for the 2020 Democrats don't compare favorably to 2008 Dems, however.

Then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware missed 26 percent of votes in 2007, Barack Obama missed 21 percent, and Hillary Clinton missed only 3 percent.

The 2020 Democratic senators are also absent more than the 2016 candidates were. In 2015, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz missed 27 percent of votes, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky missed 1 percent, and Sanders only missed 4 percent that year.

Missed votes won't really matter for the person who wins the nomination and possibly the presidency. But, for those who will have to return to the Senate and run for reelection in the coming years, it won't look great that if they were only showing up to represent their states roughly half the time as they tried to move on to bigger and better things.

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