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How to interpret the scores

As noted in the section on why this methodology was chosen, there is no objective way to pin down a member’s complete ideology into a scorecard.  Likewise, there is no ironclad method to measure the ideological orientation of a district.  Therefore, no system that rates a member’s legislative score against their district will be perfect.  Nonetheless, we feel that our MPI scores accurately reflect the behavior of the members in Congress. 

  • Members scoring between -6 and -10 would be slightly underperforming.  
  • Members scoring between -11 and -17 are clearly underperforming.  
  • Members scoring below -20/-25 are clearly undermining conservatives, especially those who reside in red districts.
    Visit the Hall of Shame for the worst offenders.
  • Due to inherent margins of errors, members scoring only a few points below their target score are not necessarily underperforming.

In terms of positive scores, most of those scoring in positive range will only score within 10 points (+10) of their target score, less dramatic than those who are underperforming.  The reason is simply due to the fact that you can’t score more than 100% on a legislative scorecard. Thus, members in conservative districts who are expected to score a 90, won’t have much room to grow. As such, any score that meets or exceeds the target score is a very positive reflection on that member.  That’s why we are committed to highlighting all members who score over 90 on our average Heritage Action + Club for Growth score, in addition to those who obtained high positive scores on our index. Please visit the Hall of Fame for members who are dedicated to conservative principles – and act accordingly.