Can you guess who the most conservative U.S. Senator is?

The National Journal puts together an annual list to rank the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate based on roll-call votes. When you think of conservative politicians in America today, names like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul probably come to mind, but none of those names even cracked the top five.

“The 15 most conservative senators list has some surprises,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “And the biggest surprise is, I've never heard of the number one guy.”

Staring from number 15, the list for the 112th Congress is ranked as follows:

15. (tie) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

14. James Inhofe (R-OK)

13. David Vitter (R-LA)

12. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

11. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

10. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

9. Mike Crapo (R-ID)

8. Michael Enzi (R-WY)

7. Mike Lee (R-UT)

6. Rand Paul (R-KY)

5. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

4. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

3. Jim DeMint (R-SC)

2. John Cornyn (R-TX)

And drumroll, please… the most conservative U.S. Senator is none other than James Risch of Idaho.

“Never heard of him,” Pat said laughing. “Honestly, never heard of him.”

“I mean I have heard of the guy, but I don’t know much about him,” Stu added. “But he seems like he is doing a good job from this list.”

With a 95.8 “composite conservative ranking” based on the National Journal’s rating system, it seem like Senator Risch, the former governor of Idaho, is doing a pretty good job.

“I would sure like to know more about him,” Glenn said. “See if we can get him on the phone tomorrow. Let's introduce him to America because I've never heard of him. And that’s really sad.”

While Risch coming in at number one was certainly a surprise to many, Glenn, Pat, and Stu were also taken aback by where some other senators fell on the list.

Pat was surprised that Senator Inhofe placed so low on the list (at number 14), while Orrin Hatch came in at number 7. No one seems to believe that Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, two of the biggest champions of small government, were ranked at number seven and six, respectively.

“I think that has to do with the fact that they take more of a Libertarian stance,” Stu suggested. “I think they are both probably downgraded because there are a couple of votes where they took the Libertarian angle. That’s my guess.”

“That’s the only thing that makes sense,” Pat said, “because I have never seen either one of them be bad on anything.”

Based on the explanation from the National Journal, it looks like Stu’s reasoning isn’t all that far off:

For the past three decades, National Journal has rated members of Congress based on selected roll-call votes from the previous year to see how they compared with each other on an ideological scale. Unlike interest groups that rate lawmakers, National Journal does not attempt to say how members should have voted. Our goal is to describe how they voted in comparison with one another.

The ratings system was devised in 1981 under the direction of Bill Schneider, a political analyst and commentator, and a contributing editor to National Journal.

For the 2012 ratings, National Journal examined all of the roll-call votes in the second session of the 112th Congress—659 in the House and 251 in the Senate—and identified the ones that show ideological distinctions between members. Many votes did not make the cut—those that involve noncontroversial issues or that fall along regional lines, for instance. In the end, 116 votes in each chamber were selected and were categorized as economic, foreign, or social.

Looking at this list, it is easy to see where the Republican and, more importantly, conservative strongholds are in the U.S. “Let’s look at this pattern,” Glenn said. “You want to know if you're living in the right part of the country? Idaho, Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky.”

“So, I mean, look at the states that have both senators [on the list], and those are probably good states for you,” Glenn concluded. “And look at, if you notice, it's the Mountain West down in to like Oklahoma and then Texas. There's your home base, guys. There's home base. Touch the mountains and go home, unless it's Colorado...”

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.