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: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision GOP lawmaker: UK-Huawei deal could force US to 'reexamine' intelligence-sharing partnership MORE (Fla.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP confident of win on witnesses GOP Foreign Affairs leaders join pushback against potential troop drawdown in Africa Republicans signal renewed confidence they'll avoid witness fight MORE (S.C.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz scolds reporter who brought up his daughters Can Democrats flip the Texas House? Today's result will provide a clue Republicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap 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 ClintonHill.TV's Krystal Ball: Failure to embrace Sanders as nominee would 'destroy' Democratic Party Clinton says she feels the 'urge' to defeat Trump in 2020 Can Democrats flip the Texas House? Today's result will provide a clue 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 McCainJames Taylor to perform at awards ceremony for Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week Conservative activist wins contest to represent New Hampshire at Republican National Convention Schiff shows clip of McCain in Trump impeachment trial 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 VitterThe biggest political upsets of the decade Red-state governor races put both parties on edge Louisiana Republicans score big legislative wins MORE (R-La.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum The Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial 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.