Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush used the last primary debate to attack Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for missing numerous Senate votes as he runs a campaign.
"Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work," Bush said in one of the more heated exchanges of the night. "Literally, the Senate, what is it, like a French work week? You get, like, three days when you have to show up?"
Marco Rubio has missed a lot of votes — but he also isn’t an outlier when it comes to missing votes in the Senate while running for president.
It turns out that since 2008, nearly all senators who run for president just aren’t making it to floor votes — Democrats and Republicans alike.
The 2008 Democrats missed a lot of votes in the primaries. McCain missed almost every vote in the general.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden both missed between 75 and 85 percent of the floor votes about a year away from the general election (10 to 13 months), which is where we’re at now. Obama missed nearly 90 percent, but that came down to 37 percent the following quarter.
But there’s one reason Rubio may have called out John McCain specifically in defending his record: The Arizona senator missed nearly every single vote in the final seven months of his campaign.
Meanwhile, after Biden dropped out, he only missed 4.7 percent of votes in the following quarter; after Clinton lost the primary, she missed just 14.9 percent.
Rubio really has missed a lot of votes in thus quarter
Despite this being the norm, Rubio deserves some of the grief he’s received for missing votes. In October, he’s missed 18 of 20 votes. That’s about the same percentage as Obama in the same time period. There are still two months left in the quarter, but in a competitive primary race it’s unlikely Rubio will be in attendance for that many more floor votes.
Ted Cruz has missed relatively few votes; Bernie Sanders has missed just 10 this year
Ted Cruz would’ve missed the fewest votes among senators running for president, if it weren’t for Bernie Sanders, who has missed just 3 percent of votes this year. This is no different from the percentage of votes he normally misses in the Senate — which, to be clear, is actually worse than the median of 1.6 percent, but is still astonishingly low for a man running for president.