I'm not sure why the Dems throw out this 90% figure that McCain "voted with Bush". For one thing Bush doesn't have a vote in congress for McCain (or Obama, for that matter) to agree with. Secondly, Bush signs all legislation (whether initiated by Repubs or Dems in Congress), so if you consider Bush's signing the legislation into law to be his vote, you would find almost all Democrats to have voted with Bush a significant percentage of the time as well (I've seen quotes that Obama has voted with Bush around 40% of the time). Thirdly, as noted in quote below, most votes in Congress are procedural and consequently, members vote with their parties exclusively in those circumstances. Finally, how many times did Obama vote against his party thus leading to a 50-50 tie requiring a VP tie-breaking vote....Answer: None. McCain has done so on 3 occassions during the Bush Presidency, actually voting against most Republicans leading to the tie that Cheney needed to break (Cheney voting against McCain).
I still argue that a better metric to look at is how often has the candidate voted for what he feels is best for the nation, vice his individual party. And McCain wins that metric hands down.
This week Obama has begun a constant refrain that there is "not a dime worth of difference" between Bush's and McCain's views. It is a consistent theme of Democratic pundits on talk shows.
Is this the same McCain who drove Republicans nuts on campaign finance, the environment, taxes, torture, immigration and more? Where has McCain not crossed swords with his own party?
As it's being used, the 90 percent figure, from Congressional Quarterly, is nonsensical. As Washington Post congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman explained, "The vast majority of those votes are procedural, and virtually every member of Congress votes with his or her leadership on procedural motions."
Obama might want to be a little careful with these attacks, as the same measure has him voting with Democrats 97 percent of the time.
The American Conservative Union finds that the average Republican senator voted conservatively 85 percent of the time, and that the average Democrat voted conservatively 13 percent of the time. McCain voted conservatively 74 percent of the time.
Although it's at the opposite end of the political spectrum, Americans for Democratic Action essentially agreed. It found that the average Republican senator voted liberally just over 12 percent of the time, and the average Democrat voted liberally 89 percent of the time. McCain voted liberally 24 percent of the time - twice as frequently as the average Republican.