Tech Law Journal Congressional Scorecard 1998

Regional Variations in Support for High Tech

(January 5, 1999)  Tech Law Journal examined whether the average high tech support scores vary by region of the county. The findings are that region is important. Senators and Representatives from the West and New England have higher average scores, while those from the "rust belt" states have lower scores than average. The average scores for southern Senators and Representatives are about the same as the national average.

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).


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

Senate.  Four of the five Senators with scores of 100 are from states on or west of the continental divide. These are Conrad Burns (R-MT), Larry Craig (R-ID), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Only Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is not a Westerner. Similarly, of the sixteen Senators with scores of 80, eight are from states on or west of the divide. Also, six of the Senators on the Tech Law Journal Top Ten list are from states on or west of the continental divide.

In contrast, almost all of the nine Senators with scores of 0 are from "rust belt" states. These nine are Joe Biden (D-DE), Dale Bumpers (D-AR), Robert Byrd (WV), Russ Feingold (D-WI), John Glenn (D-OH), Carl Levin (D-MI), Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Paul Sarbannes (D-MD), and Paul Wellstone (D-MN).

For the twenty-six Senators from states on or west of the continental divide, the average high tech support score was 65.38. For the twenty-six Senators from the "rust belt" states (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, WV, OH, IN, IL, MI, IA, WI, and MN) the average support score was 30.00. The average for all Senators was 48.80.

House.  In the House, the New England delegation had the highest average score, at 63.00. While none of its twenty-three Representatives scored 100, quite a few scored 80, including Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Joe Kennedy (D-MA), William Delahunt (D-MA), Richard Neal (D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), and John Moakley (D-MA).

The west and the plains states also had average scores much higher than the national average, at 59.57 and 62.67, respectively.

The average score for the south was 48.57, just below the national average for the House at 49.29.

The rust belt Representatives had an average score of 41.70, which was lower than the national average. However, it was better than the Senate rust belt delegation's average score.

These statistics are summarized in Table 1 below.

Table 1.
  Average Scores by Region of the Country
(number of persons)
  Senate House
West (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY) 65.38
Rust Belt (DE, IA, IL, IN, MD, OH, MI, MN, NJ, NY, PA, WI, WV) 30.00
New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) 53.33
South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA) 50.00
Plains (KS, NE, ND, OK, SD) 46.00
All Fifty States 48.80