NPR: "Political Scientist: Republicans Most Conservative They've Been in 100 Years"
I'm inclined to agree with - or at least give the benefit of the doubt to - NPR on this one. The political scientist whom NPR mentions is Keith Poole. Poole is a good friend, and he, like me, is one of the few political science professors to proclaim publicly that he is a conservative (although I think he considers himself more libertarian than conservative). Also, as I discuss in my book and in an old Ricochet post, Poole is a brilliant guy and the producer of perhaps the greatest research achievement ever in political science.
That achievement, Nominate scores, shows that the average Nominate score of congressional Republican is the highest it has been in a century. (Nevertheless, I might have a few quibbles with the claim. E.g., before the early 1930s, I'm not sure that Nominate really measures what we nowadays call conservatism and liberalism.) Be sure to read the entire article, including perusing the graph. The latter shows a steep rise, and it shows that the trend is more than just a recent phenomenon. Congressional Republicans, it suggests, were becoming more conservative before the Tea Party movement and the election of Obama.