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Sen. Barry Goldwater

Former Senator for Arizona

Goldwater was a senator from Arizona and was a Republican. He served from 1969 to 1986.

He was previously a senator from Arizona as a Republican from 1953 to 1964.

Photo of Sen. Barry Goldwater [R-AZ, 1969-1986]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Goldwater is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 1986 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Goldwater sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 5, 1981 to Oct 18, 1986. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Goldwater was the primary sponsor of 38 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 38 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Goldwater sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (29%) Economics and Public Finance (17%) Armed Forces and National Security (13%) Arts, Culture, Religion (12%) Science, Technology, Communications (9%) International Affairs (9%) Native Americans (6%) Health (5%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Goldwater recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1953 to Oct 1986, Goldwater missed 3,598 of 10,827 roll call votes, which is 33.2%. This is much worse than the median of 6.0% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Oct 1986. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: