McCain Tops the List for Missed Votes in the Senate

As the three Senators remain in the presidential fray, they continue to miss important pieces of legislation. In recent months Barack Obama has been critiqued for his inactivity in the U.S Senate, but it is beginning to look as though all three candidates suffer from balancing presidential activity with current congressional obligations. Obama still holds the largest percentage of missed votes in the Senate, but McCain has missed the most since 2008.

Kitty Bennett of the New York Times reports, March 25, 2008:

A protracted nominating campaign and unreliable Senate schedules have made it difficult for the presidential candidates to make it back to Washington to vote. So difficult, in fact, that Senator John McCain of Arizona has missed more than half of the roll-call votes since January 2007, more than any other senator except Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who spent most of 2007 recuperating from a brain hemorrhage. When Mr. McCain ran for president in 1999-2000, he missed just 30 percent of the Senate votes.

Still, Mr. McCain has a long way to go to match the number of votes Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts missed when he ran for president in 2003-4: 72 percent. He led the entire Senate, followed by Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who missed nearly half the votes.

McCain is spending time overseas in order to bolster his foreign relations image and his presence in and around Iraq should make for good excuses. However, he does have the most free time of all three candidates. Continued absences might make it difficult for McCain to criticize Obama on the subject when they begin their debates.

  • Gary

    I’ve never thought it a big story that they’re missing Senate votes during a Presidential race… All candidates miss votes when they’re running, it’s just a fact. What stands out to me is the career percentages of missed votes. In 21 years McCain has missed 11% and in 3 years Obama’s missed 18%. Surprisingly Hillary’s only missed 7% in 7 years.

  • Babs

    I agree with you, Gary. And in defense, I suppose, of all of them during their respective campaigns, one might need to look closer on what’s being voted on the days they are not there to vote. That information might lend a little credibility to their absence.

  • Stalin

    During a presidential campaign these stats are irrelavant. The complete career stats are what is important. It is no surprise that Obama leads the pack with the most missed, he has been running for president since he became senator…

  • Michelle


    To be factual, Obama has been a state senator for eight years and a U.S. senator for two, so he has a not beenrunning for president since he became a senator. I believe his career stats stand by him, and I will say that we are not all politicans so we can’t be so quck to call his absetees/nonvotes a mistake when there can be party motives behind it.

  • Babs

    Obama himself has excused his absences on the Senate floor as being too busy campaigning for President, and the stats posted here account for his voting record only since 2005. Look at it again.

  • Stalin


    I am aware of Mr. Obama’s record, I am an unfortunate victim of his constituency. Chicago is a wreck of a city when it comes to taxes… I dare you to try and start a business here.

  • Melinda Klugh

    Brain hemorrhage is of course deadly, you need your head to be examined as soon as possible if you think that you have hit your head hard. “‘,`’

    Kind thanks“>