Be among the first to use our new Common Ground Scorecard! Before you vote, see how your candidates rate at finding common ground.

How are points earned?

1. Official Performance (30 points)

  1. Legislators: Bipartisan bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship
  2. Executives: Bipartisan job approval
  3. Candidates without congressional or gubernatorial service: Predictive estimate by statistical modeling

2. Personal Actions (30 points)

  1. Public conversation across political differences
  2. Joining an official from the opposing party for a visit of their district
  3. Membership in a common ground focused caucus (Only U.S. House)

3. Communication (20 points +/-)

  1. Promoting common ground (+)
  2. Insulting political opponents (-)

4. Commitments (20 points)

  1. I will identify and set aside personal biases.
  2. I will commit to seek agreement, progress, and solutions.
  3. I will listen first to learn perspectives and experiences.
  4. I will not assume, but seek to understand motives and intentions.
  5. I will seek outcomes all can live with but not compromise principles.
  6. I will accept that good people may disagree.
  7. I will use and accept facts.
  8. I will stay respectful.
  9. I will resist demonizing.
  10. I will de-escalate hostile situations.

5. BONUS: Outstanding Common Grounder (+10 points)

  1. Awarded for common ground behavior or boldly champions common ground.
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The Maverick Matrix™ illustrates the degree to which an official seeks common ground relative to the partisan intensity of their constituents, meaning how strongly the area they represent favors one party over the other. The matrix is divided into four labeled quadrants:

  • Balancers: Balancing constituents more closely divided between the parties, this official is more of a Common Grounder.
  • Team Players: Consistent with a constituency strongly leaning toward one party, this official is less of a Common Grounder.
  • True Believers: Despite a constituency more closely divided between the parties, this official is less of a Common Grounder.
  • Mavericks: Despite a constituency strongly leaning toward one party, this official is more of a Common Grounder. Such officials are most commendable in our view.
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Common Ground Scorecard for: fred upton

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U.S. House

Fred Upton (MI-6 - R)


Fred Upton (MI-6 - R)

Maverick Matrix

True Believers
Team Players
Constituent Partisan Intensity
Common Ground Score

Learn more about how these scores were calculated

Common Ground Score 100Champion


Championed common ground with a focused column saying, "A vibrant democratic republic depends on vigorous debate — but also recognizes the importance of compromise and coming together." Affirmed Common Grounder Commitments. Top 10% for Official Performance. Visited Republican Congresswoman Debbie Dingell's district and hosted her in his area for public conversations as part of a five stop road show of joint events focused on restoring civility and bipartisanship in our political discourse. Member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus. "Too many in Washington look for a fight first and a solution second. That’s not my style. Coming together to solve problems that matter to the American people must be our top priority. We’re tired of the vitriolic rhetoric and mean-spirited language used in our political discourse, and so are the American people." "When members work together across the aisle, the American people win... Folks around the nation are sick and tired of watching D.C. politicians fight and play politics while this country struggles with real challenges... We need to talk with each other, reach across the aisle, and give each other the benefit of the doubt. There is more that unites us than divides us. We must always remember -- before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are Americans first." "I made the decision that firstly, every issue I’ve ever worked on has been bipartisan. I’ll meet you across the aisle. I’ve got a lot of friends like Debbie on the other side of the aisle and a lot of Republicans on my side that want to work together." "This compromise represents what can be accomplished when both parties and both chambers of Congress come together and work in good faith to find common ground." "It is my sincere hope that we can find bipartisan common ground." "Members have been working together directly; challenging each other to find common ground; and discovering that we share many policy objectives." "We are always stronger when we work together and find common ground to fix problems that we face." "Sometimes we must find common ground in order to govern, and to do that, we must start talking.

How do the politicians compare?

Common Ground Score

Maverick Matrix

True Believers
Team Players
Constituent Partisan Intensity
Common Ground Score