The Roll Call newspaper, which is popular among DC politicos, recently released a ranking of the clout that the various state delegations hold in the 111th Congress. In determining the rankings, Roll Call staff assign points to each state based on several factors, including:
- size of the delegation
- number of full committee chairmen and ranking members
- number of Members on the most influential committees
- top leadership posts
- number of Members in the majority party
- per capita federal spending received
- seniority, and
- power rating of the opponents.
The state of Washington moved up one slot to 14 out of 50 for the current Congress. Washington made a dramatic jump in the ranking, from 30 to 15, after the 2006 election when the leadership of Congress changed parties. The top 3 states in the ranking have consistently included California, New York, and Texas -since the criteria utilized heavily favors large states. The Roll Call article, written with an admitted inspiration from the NCAA college basketball tournament, provides a colorful explanation of the ranking.