Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998

High Tech Support and
Age and Tenure in Office

(January 5, 1999)  Tech Law Journal examined whether there is any relationship between the age of Senators and Representatives, and their support for high tech.  Tech Law Journal also examined length of tenure in office and support for high tech.  There are negative correlations between both age and years of service, on the one hand, and support for high tech, on the other.


Senate Scores
House Scores
Scorecard Criteria
Notes on Methods


Senate Top 10
House Top 10


Regional Patterns
Urban vs. Rural
Party Affiliation
Digital Divide
Gender Gap?
Age and Seniority

This article is a part of the Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998 series.   All 100 Senators and all 435 Representatives were ranked on a 0 to 100 scale on the basis of five objective criteria (roll call votes on, and sponsorship of, bills pertaining to encryption, Internet tax moratorium, securities litigation reform, H1B visas, as well as membership in the Internet caucus).

Younger Representatives and Senators tend to have higher support scores than their older colleagues.  For example, take two data sets: first, the ages of all 435 members of the House of Representatives, and second, their support scores.  The correlation coefficient for these two is -.19.  Likewise, the same correlation coefficient for the 100 Senators is almost the same, -.20.

Similarly, Representatives who are new to the Congress tend to have higher high tech support scores than their more senior colleagues.  The correlation coefficient for length of service (measured as number of terms service in the House, whether continuous or not), and support score, is -.20.

These finding might lead one to conclude that as older legislators retire and get replaced by younger people, the support for high tech in Congress will increase.   Tech Law Journal has no measurement of the support for high tech of the "Class of 98," those people who were first elected last November.  However, one can compare the average support score of all 435 Representatives of the 105th Congress to the average support score of those who were re-elected.

The re-elected group actually had a slightly lower average score!  The average score for all 435 was 49.29.  The average score for those who were re-elected was 49.09.  (The group of thirty-nine who did not return had a average score of 51.28.)

A case by case examination of the Representatives who did not return offers some explanation.  While a number of older Representatives with low support scores did retire, a number of young pro tech Representatives are gone too.  The eleven Representatives who were over 65, and who did not return, had an average score of only 25.45.  However, there were nine Representatives who were 45 or under who did not return.  They had a very high average score of 73.3.

For example, Rick White (R-WA, Score 100) lost his re-election bid, while Scot Klug (R-WI, Score 100) and Bill Paxon (R-NY, Score 60) retired. All three also held seats on the Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over most high tech bills.  Mark Neumann (R-WI, Score 60) and John Ensign (R-NV, Score 60) ran unsuccessfully for Senate seats.  Also gone are Jon Christensen (R-NE, Score 100) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA, Age 46, Score 80).  Mike Crapo (R-ID, Age 47, Score 80) got elected to the Senate.