Utah Republicans ranked by who is ‘most loyal’ to Trump

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Donald Trump, right, speaks as he sits next to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, left, as they participate in a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, on youth vaping and the electronic cigarette epidemic.

Rep. Chris Stewart takes a lot of flak from Democrats for being a loyal defender of President Donald Trump. But Stewart is not the most loyal to the president among Utah’s Republicans in Congress according to a new analysis. In fact, he doesn’t crack the top two.

The “Trump Loyalty Index” created by Axios measures both voting loyalty to the president as well as how they reacted to seven of Trump’s more controversial political moments, including the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, the “very fine people” comment following the racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, and the June 2020 incident where federal law enforcement cleared protesters from in front of the White House so Trump could have a photo op with a Bible in front of a church.

According to the index, Rep. Rob Bishop is the federal lawmaker from Utah most loyal to Trump. He votes with Trump 95% of the time. He also was more supportive of Trump following four of the selected incidents, and neutral for three others, earning him a loyalty rating of 75. Bishop is leaving Congress at the end of the current term.

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Third District Rep. John Curtis was the next most loyal, earning a rating of 69. That’s surprising since he wasn’t in Congress for the first part of Trump’s time in the White House. Curtis votes with Trump 95% of the time and was most supportive of Trump over his call with the president of Ukraine, which was at the heart of the impeachment scandal.

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Stewart is smack dab in the middle of Utah’s five Republicans in Congress with a loyalty index rating of 68. Like Bishop and Curtis, he votes with Trump 95% of the time, but he was critical of Trump following the “Access Hollywood” video and the infamous profanity laced comment aimed at Haiti and some African countries.

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Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney are at the bottom of the loyalty list among Utah Republicans.

Lee scores a 53 on the loyalty index after being more critical of Trump than not. He only expressed support for Trump’s initial travel ban on Muslim-majority nations and his call with the president of Ukraine. Lee votes with Trump 74% of the time, often bucking him on budget issues.

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It is no surprise that Romney is bringing up the rear with a loyalty index rating of 39, despite being with Trump on 82% of votes. Romney was critical of Trump on five of the seven selected controversies and neutral on two others. Romney has been a frequent critic of the president, and was the only Republican to vote to remove him from office during his February impeachment trial.

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However, one could argue that Romney’s ranking is wrong as the two incidents where they ranked his reaction as “neutral” are incorrect. Romney said he supported Trump’s travel ban in 2018. But, he strongly rebuked Trump over the “shithole countries” comment, saying an immigrant’s “nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race.”

Wisconsin Rep. Glenn Grothman was tops in the House with a 93 rating on the loyalty index. Georgia Sen. David Perdue had the highest loyalty rating in the Senate at 91.

Despite his disagreements with Trump, Romney was tied for the fourth-lowest loyalty score among Republicans in Congress with Texas Rep. Will Hurd. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and Maine Sen. Susan Collins all scoring lower than Romney.

You can read more about Axios' method for calculating their rankings on the index here.

Trump is polling ahead of both Romney and Lee according to a recent Y2 Analytics survey. Trump is viewed favorably by 52% of Utahns, while Lee gets a 48% favorability rating and Romney is at 45%.