Rubio, Graham, Cruz lead Senate in missed votes

As the 2016 presidential election heats up, Republican hopefuls are racking up absences in the Senate. 

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Trump campaigns as wild card in Georgia runoffs Rubio and Ocasio-Cortez spar on Twitter: 'Work more, tweet less' MORE (Fla.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham reports 'record-breaking' 9M haul during 2020 campaign Lawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country MORE (S.C.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Senate committee approves nominations of three FEC commissioners Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE (Texas) missed more roll call votes during 2015 than any other senators, according to data released this week from C-SPAN. 
 
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Rubio has the worst attendance record, missing 35 percent, or 120 of the 339 roll votes, during the past year, according to GovTrack. 
 
Meanwhile, Graham, who suspended his campaign earlier this month, missed 28 percent of roll call votes during 2015, and Cruz missed 24 percent. 
 
While many of the absences were on procedural votes, the three senators also missed votes on nominations or major legislation. 
 
For example, Cruz drew widespread criticism earlier this year over missing the final vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general; Rubio most recently missed votes on the end-of-the-year government spending bill
 
Rubio's attempt to run for president while also keeping up his Senate duties has received constant criticism, coming under the media spotlight as early as January when he missed a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline to fundraise in California.
 
His Senate voting record is also drawing increased scrutiny from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. 
 
In a TV ad this week, a super-PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's White House bid highlighted Rubio's absence from a classified briefing after the November terrorist attacks in Paris. 
 
 
Paul, who is also running for the presidential nomination, missed 6 percent of Senate roll call votes this year. 
 
The campaigns have repeatedly defended their candidates' voting records, suggesting that the senators focus on votes where they can make an impact.
 
Comparatively, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, missed 23 percent of the Senate's roll call votes during the same point in the 2008 presidential election, according to GovTrack. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSmearing presidential election will turn off young voters and undermine democracy Choking — not cheating — was Trump's undoing Gabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in MORE (R-Ariz.), who won the Republican nomination, missed 56 percent. 
 
 
With senators missing about 1 percent of votes on average, Sanders's absences put him in the Senate's top 10 for missed votes in 2015, according to C-SPAN.
 
But it isn't just 2016 presidential contenders who are leading the Senate in absences. According to data from the cable network, Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic Bottom line MORE (R-La.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.) place fourth and fifth, respectively, for senators who missed the most votes in 2015. 
 
Vitter, who has announced he won't run for reelection, spent most of the year making a failed bid for governor in Louisiana. Reid was absent from the Senate for weeks earlier this year after suffering an eye injury. 
  
On average, senators missed approximately 50 of the 339 votes, according to GovTrack.