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Sen. George McGovern

Former Senator for South Dakota

McGovern was a senator from South Dakota and was a Democrat. He served from 1963 to 1980.

He was previously the representative for South Dakota’s 1st congressional district as a Democrat from 1957 to 1960.

Photo of Sen. George McGovern [D-SD, 1963-1980]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

McGovern 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 ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills McGovern sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 15, 1975 to Dec 16, 1980. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

McGovern was the primary sponsor of 11 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 11 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

McGovern sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Agriculture and Food (31%) Government Operations and Politics (17%) Economics and Public Finance (11%) Health (11%) Armed Forces and National Security (10%) International Affairs (9%) Labor and Employment (6%) Energy (6%)

Recently Introduced Bills

McGovern recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1963 to Dec 1980, McGovern missed 1,978 of 7,907 roll call votes, which is 25.0%. This is much worse than the median of 9.2% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Dec 1980. 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: