Mitt Romney’s newly minted November running mate Paul Ryan is known for a radical right wing outlook — at the core of his agenda is the slashing of taxes for the rich, ending Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and any sort of sort of social safety net as we know them, and gutting all functions of the federal government with the exception of the military. But just how extreme is he? Via the FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, statistics wiz Nate Silver explains that by a large margin, Ryan holds the most far-from-center voting record of any Congressperson to run for vice president in at least a hundred years, if not ever:
Based on his Congressional voting record, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. (The statistic does not provide scores for governors and other vice-presidential nominees who never served in Congress.)
By this measure, in fact, which rates members of the House and Senate throughout different time periods on a common ideology scale, Mr. Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900. He is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center.