WASHINGTON – The best known members of Congress aren't necessarily the most powerful.
The Democrats' last presidential candidate, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, for example, is ranked 61st in terms of clout among the Senate's 100 members, according to a new analysis.
A much junior colleague and likely competitor for the party's White House nomination in 2008, former first lady and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, ranks 41st.
Both are well behind lesser known Republican Reps. Jerry Lewis of California and Don Young of Alaska, respectively chairmen of the House Appropriations and Transportation committees and listed as the third and fourth most powerful House members.
The survey, which ranks every member of Congress based on very Washington wonk criteria -- committee and leadership positions, political influence and legislative activity -- puts Republican John McCain of Arizona as the third most powerful senator.
Ahead of him are Majority Leader Bill Frist, who's vying with McCain for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, followed by Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The only Democrat to make the top 10 Senate list was Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who placed fifth.
Among others with possible presidential aspirations, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was 12th, Joe Biden, D-Del., was 28th, George Allen, R-Va., was 42nd, Russ Feingold, D-Wis., was 82nd, and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., was 89th.
The rankings were put together by Knowlegis, a company that provides services and software for government relations professionals. Limited to activities in 2005, the rankings are out of date in at least one case.
Soon-to-be-retired Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was listed as the second most powerful member of the House, behind Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert. DeLay stepped down as majority leader last fall after being indicted in an investigation into alleged illegal use of campaign funds. He has announced he will resign from the House in June after several members of his staff became embroiled in lobbying scandals.
California Rep. Nancy Pelosi was the top-ranked Democrat in the House as minority leader. She placed eighth on the list of most powerful House members.