The Best Conservative Politicians
As part of Examiner.com’s “Best of” series, I wanted to address the best conservative politicians and the facts you need to know about them. I started with a huge list and narrowed it down to 10 people, all currently in office: Rep. Eric Cantor, Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. Jim DeMint, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin, Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Paul Ryan, Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Thune. In an effort to narrow down the list even further, I posted a poll today onRightWingNews.com to ask my readers there to vote for their favorite among those ten.
More than 400 people responded, and the results didn’t surprise me: Jindal was the most popular selection and Palin was a close second. (McCain, for the record, came in dead last, receiving only 1 percent of the vote.)
What follows is the top five conservative politicians, as determined by the readers of RightWingNews.com, and what I think you need to know about them. I’ve cited the percentage of the vote these individuals received in my poll, as well.
5. Rep. Mike Pence: (9 percent)
Pence represents the 6th congressional district of Indiana and has been in office since 2001. He calls himself “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” He’s a firm supporter of American troops in Iraq and an advocate for fiscal and social conservatives alike. He’s made a name for himself by sticking to his principles. He lost a bid for House Minority Leader to John Boehner, but he’s a contender for future leadership positions.
4. Sen. Tom Coburn: (11 percent)
Coburn is a two-time cancer survivor and, in his medical career as an obstetrician, Coburn has delivered over 4,000 babies. But his medical miracles are only the beginning of his good work. He has a terrific record for exposing government waste and reigning in on that unnecessary spending. (His official website is updated daily with new ways your tax dollars are being wasted.) Coburn is also a big proponent of term limits–yet another tool in his arsenal for fighting corruption–and retired from Congress in 2001 to keep his promise to enforce such limits on himself. He also pledged to serve no more than two terms in the Senate, where he currently serves as the junior senator.
3. Sen. Jim DeMint: (19 percent)
It’s no surprise that a blog poll shows considerable support for DeMint, in part because he was among the first politicians toembrace the technology and make new media a critical part of his communications. Readers and writers of blogs alike recognize this and have long commended him for this. The junior senator from South Carolina was named the most conservative senator by National Journal in 2007 and again in 2008–and you’ll notice he has that distinction in this poll, as well. DeMint has been praised for his anti-earmark work; he even sponsored a bill earlier this year to place a one-year ban on all earmarks in the Senate.
2. Gov. Sarah Palin: (24 percent)
Palin has captivated Americans in a short amount of time and demonstrated herself to be a true conservative reformer. Women love that she’s a tough hockey mom who got involved in her kids’ school and never looked back. Men and women alike are drawn to her gumption and respect how she reduced spending in her home state of Alaska. Besides being a fiscal hawk, she is perhaps the best social conservative example for America in her decision to give birth to her fifth child, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth. What’s not to like?
1. Gov. Bobby Jindal: (25 percent)
Despite having served in Congress for a few years, Jindal was relatively unknown until he became the governor of Louisiana this year. He is the youngest current governor in office and the first Indian American governor ever. An immigrant to the United States, Jindal took the name Bobby from “The Brady Bunch” television show at age 4 and converted from Hinduism to Catholicism in high school. In his one year as governor, he’s made more headlines than many politicians ever will. He was widely speculated to be a vice-presidential option for McCain earlier this year, but many conservatives came out saying that they wanted him to continue the good work he’d begun in the Bayou State and that his time to lead conservatives on a larger scale will come.
Cross-posted at Examiner.com.