Marco Rubio’s Voting Record Isn’t as Bad as Trump Wants You to Think

March 8, 2016, 7:35 PM UTC
GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 03: Republican presidential candidates (Lto R) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Donald Trump participate in a debate sponsored by Fox News at the Fox Theatre on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. Voters in Michigan will go to the polls March 8 for the State's primary. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photograph by Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

It’s not hard to accuse Donald Trump of hyperbole, but when it comes to certain criticism of rival Marco Rubio, it looks like he’s laying it on too thick.

Trump has condemned the Florida senator’s voting record numerous times throughout the presidential race. He has said that Rubio has “the highest delinquency record in the U.S. Senate in many, many years, it could be decades” and has called him a “total no-show in the U.S. Senate.”

However, according to the Associated Press, it’s common for senators to miss a large chunk of votes while campaigning for president, and Rubio is actually doing a bit better than some of his predecessors. When John McCain was seeking the Republican nomination in 2008 while simultaneously serving as an Arizona senator, he missed 62% of senate votes in a year. During that same period, President Barack Obama, who was then an Illinois senator, missed 45%.

Rubio is doing slightly better than Obama, having missed 41% of votes between March 9, 2015 and March 7, 2016. However, his fellow presidential candidates are doing better than he is. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has missed 36% of votes, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has missed 19%.


Trump’s exaggerations are likely helping him perform better than Rubio in his home state. According to a recent Monmouth poll, Trump is leading the senator in Florida by 8 points.

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