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Sen. Gaylord Nelson

Former Senator for Wisconsin

Nelson was a senator from Wisconsin and was a Democrat. He served from 1963 to 1980.

Photo of Sen. Gaylord Nelson [D-WI, 1963-1980]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Nelson is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the Senate in 1980 positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Nelson sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Nelson was the primary sponsor of 12 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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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

Nelson sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

International Affairs (18%) Taxation (17%) Foreign Trade and International Finance (17%) Government Operations and Politics (15%) Commerce (12%) Health (7%) Labor and Employment (7%) Economics and Public Finance (6%)

Recent Bills

Some of Nelson’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1963 to Dec 1980, Nelson missed 599 of 7,907 roll call votes, which is 7.6%. This is better than the median of 9.2% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 1980. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

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Primary Sources

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