National Journal has named Todd Akin the most conservative member of the House in 2012, in its annual rankings:
It’s not surprising that Akin has topped National Journal’s annual list of the most conservative representatives in the House. In the 111th Congress, he was one of the first legislators to join the Tea Party Caucus. Earlier in that term, he opposed the stimulus, health care reform, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He has been consistently outspoken against abortion under any circumstance and has maintained an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.
As National Journal points out, Akin is most remembered for his comment on “legitimate rape,” and lost his race for a Missouri Senate seat to Democrat Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Rep. Austin Scott from Georgia, who was president of the Republican freshman class for the 112th Congress, was ranked second most conservative.
National Journal also has a list of most liberal house members, with a 14-member tie for first place. National Journal explains:
The most liberal representatives for two years running are Reps. William Lacy Clay of Missouri, Donna Edwards of Maryland, John Olver of Massachusetts, and four from California–Mike Honda, Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, and Lynn Woolsey.
Olver has the distinction of being the most liberal representative for five years running.
The rankings, which National Journal has done for 30 years, are calculated using selected roll-call votes to compare members to each other.