Who's the top Senate talker of 2016 candidates?

A February 11, 2015 photo shows the US Capitol with its dome encased in scaffolding as it undergoes renovation in Washington, DC.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

If you tuned into C-SPAN in 2015, you were more likely to see Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, speaking on the Senate floor than all of the other senators running for president in 2016.

Sanders spoke 37 times during the 156 days the Senate was in session in 2015, meaning he spoke on 23 percent of days the Senate was in session. Next up was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who spoke 19 times, or 12 percent of days, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who spoke 13 times or 8 percent of all days. At the bottom of the pack was Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who spoke just eight times, or 5 percent of all days.

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CBS News graphic of C-SPAN data

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who announced this week he was suspending his campaign, came in right in the middle of the pack. He spoke 16 times, representing 10 percent of all days.

All of the data was compiled by C-SPAN.

Paul led the pack as the most frequent voter, casting a yes or no on 319 of 339 (94 percent) recorded votes in the Senate in 2015. Sanders wasn't far behind, voting 91 percent of the time. Cruz came in third, voting 76 percent of the time, Graham voted 71 percent of the time, and Rubio was the least frequent voter, weighing in during just 64 percent of votes.

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CBS News graphic of C-SPAN data

A number of the Republican candidates have pointed out that Rubio votes less frequently than the average when compared to his Senate colleagues.

He recently had to defend his decision to skip a major vote in the Senate to fund the government through September. Paul said he should have to resign from the Senate for missing it.

"Look, I'm running for president," Rubio told "Face the Nation" moderator John Dickerson during an interview in Dubuque, Iowa. "We do our job every day. Even before I got on the air with you today, we were going through some constituent service work where I'm personally intervening on behalf of people in our office. When there are important votes, especially those where I can be a decisive voice, I'm going to be there."

He said he's focusing on the campaign trail in order to win election and prevent similar votes from happening again in Washington.

"That's why I'm out campaigning. I want these votes to start to matter again," he said.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.