Anybody who has lived in these parts for more than a few weeks knows the Virginia delegation in Congress is conservative. But how conservative? On a scale of 1 to 100, ranked by the left-liberal Americans for Democratic Action, last year it scored a whopping 6.
That figure, based on voting records, ranked the Virginia delegation as the most conservative among the 34 states with four or more members of the House of Representatives in the just-adjourned 97th Congress. (There were no ratings for the other 16 less populous states.)
By contrast, the ADA's 34-state average was 43. The Connecticut and Massachusetts delegations tied as the most liberal, each with a rating of 85.
According to a spokesman at ADA's Washington headquarters, the ratings were based on votes on 20 issues last year, including the Reagan budget, the MX missile, the nuclear freeze, jobs bills, taxes and civil rights issues.
Maryland, with an ADA rating of 59, ranked ninth among the rated delegations. Maryland's eight Democrats averaged out to a 66 rating, but the lone Republican had a score of 10, bringing down the liberalism average.
Virginia was the only state in which the Democratic voting score (5) was lower, however marginally, than that of the Republicans (6). Virginia had but one Democrat last year in its 10-member House delegation, W.C. (Dan) Daniel of Danville, a former national commander of the American Legion.