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The party line

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Congressional Quarterly is out with its annual party unity ranking.

It's not too surprising, given the lockstep orthodoxy required of Republican candidates, that they tend to stray from the reservation less than Democrats.

Take Arkansas. In the Senate, Mark Pryor was with the majority of Democrats 85 percent of the time, while John Boozman went with the GOP majority 93 percent of the time on 120 votes.

The House was more striking: Rep. Mike Ross, who caucuses with Democrats, went with the party only 45 percent of the time. Reps. Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford voted the Republican Party line 96, 95 and 95 percent of the time on 716 votes. It's surprising that they diverged ever, to tell the truth.

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