U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) is hopping mad about a political advertisement, produced by House Democrats, claiming that Coffman has voted with Trump 96 percent of the time.
The 96-percent figure was calculated by nonpartisan statistician and journalist Nate Silver, on his FiveThirtyEight website. Silver tallied congressional votes on all legislation on which the “Trump Administration has taken a public position.”
The 96-percent-pro-Trump score is the “bogus” work of an “East Coast blogger,” said Coffman in a news release, citing 15 votes that shouldn’t be counted as pro-Trump votes because they were passed with bipartisan support, even though Coffman voted as Trump wanted him to.
But even if you toss out all 15 votes, which indeed had the support of anti-Trump Democrats, you still find that Coffman voted with Trump 95 percent of the time.
Here’s the math.
Silver identified a total of 90 votes that Trump either supported or opposed. That’s all the votes Trump took a stance on. Coffman went against Trump’s wishes on only four votes of the 90 taken.
In his news release, Coffman lists 15 of his 90 votes that shouldn’t be counted as pro-Trump votes, because they were heavily bipartisan. (See the list of these votes cited by Coffman below.)
If you throw those 15 votes out, Coffman would have voted against Trump on only four of 75 votes.
That’s 95 percent of the time.
The Democrats’ advertisement states:
“If Donald Trump is the president, I’ll stand up to him, plain and simple. Instead, Coffman voted with Trrump, more than any other Colorado member of Congress, 96 percent…Mike Coffman didn’t stand up to Trump, plain and simple.”
If Coffman wants to show that he stood up to Trump more often, he needs to find more instances when he voted against the president. Anti-Trump members of Congress, who voted with Trump on bipartisan measures, had low pro-Trump voting scores, because they voted against Trump so often.
Via email, I asked Coffman’s spokesperson, Tyler Sandberg, if he could cite more than four anti-Trump votes by Coffman, and he didn’t respond or offer any comment, as requested.
Here are the votes cited by Coffman in his news release. If you remove these, Coffman voted with Trump 95 percent of the time, not 96 percent.
H.R. 1301 (Pay raise for the troops). Passed 371-48
H.R. 4909 (Funding to prevent school violence and training for threat detection). Passed 407-10
H.R. 6 (Opioid addiction support). Passed 396-14
H.R. 5797 (Allowing Medicaid to fund opioid treatment in mental health facilities). Passed 261-155
H.R. 5788 (Targeting imports of opioids in international mail). Passed 353-52
H.R. 601 (Raising Debt Limit/Extending Government Funding/Hurricane Harvey relief). Passed 316-90
H.R. 601 (Hurricane Harvey disaster relief package) Passed 419-3
H.R. 6199 (Allowing health savings accounts to be used for over-the-counter medication) Passed 277-142
S 2372 (Expanding private care for veterans) Passed 347-70
6 votes to extend government funding and avoid shutdown on 2/6/18, 1/22/18, 1/18/18, 12/21/17, 12/7/17, and 4/28/17