The New York Times published a neat analysis recently: Which U.S. senators have appeared most frequently on the major Sunday morning news-talk shows since 2010?
Through June 3, five were on at least 35 times, led by John McCain, R-Arizona, at 61. Next is Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, with 58, followed by Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, 52; Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky 43; and Charles Schumer, D-New York, 35. The programs include “Face the Nation”, “Meet the Press”, “This Week”, “State of the Union”, “Fox News Sunday”, and “Al Punto” (a Univision program).
To put those numbers in perspective, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada made the shows nine times. And that leads to further perspective regarding our region’s current and recent U.S. senators. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, led the group with nine appearances, followed by John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, at seven and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, with five.
John Thune, R-South Dakota, was next with four. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, was on twice.
That leaves a big bunch with zero appearances. They are Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota; Max Baucus, D-Montana; Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota; Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming; Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska; Al Franken, D-Minnesota; Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; John Hoeven, R-North Dakota; Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska; Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska; and Jon Tester, D-Montana. (Conrad, Dorgan and Nelson no longer are senators.)